NAIG Opportunity Highlights Culture in Saskatchewan
The 2014 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) was an opportunity for SaskCulture to support the awareness of Saskatchewan cultural on an international stage. As a sponsor, SaskCulture provided a $70,000 sponsorship, along with over 350 hours of in-kind staff support, for the Cultural Village component of the games. The Cultural Village offered a grassroots cultural festival that showcased North American Indigenous historical and cultural activities that provided an entertaining and educational experience for attendees.
Located on the grounds of the First Nations University of Canada, the Cultural Village ran from July 21-26, 2014, and was open and accessible to both athletes and the general public. It featured a Main Stage that showcased traditional and contemporary Indigenous entertainers, a Tipi Village housing interactive displays, demonstrations and learning opportunities about traditional dance, Saskatchewan Indigenous languages, Métis culture, sweet grass teachings, beading, treaty awareness, Indigenous filmmaking, storytelling, singing and drumming, as well as traditional hand games and more.
The Cultural Village also featured a diverse showcase of artisans and craftspeople, Indigenous food booths, gaming demonstrations, a VIP Area, a trade show, and the Elder’s Program and Ceremonial Area. It also served as the site of the Closing Ceremony for the games, held to celebrate the athletes’ achievements and to thank participants for visiting.
SaskCulture also organized a gathering of cultural organizations to help rally support for NAIG organizers in their efforts to build a solid cultural component around the Games.