July 22, 2017


Last Day of Competitions Brings Team BC’s Medal Count to 176

Toronto, ON – After a week of competitions at the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), Team BC has won the Overall Team Title. Team BC competed in 13 sports and won a total of 176 medals (65 gold, 57 Silver, 54 bronze) over the course of the competition week. This put the team in first place, 12 medals ahead of Team Saskatchewan. This is the second time BC has won the Overall Team Title at the NAIG, after winning the award at the 2014 NAIG in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“This was a complete team effort,” said Lara Mussell Savage, Team BC’s Chef de Mission. “We assembled an amazing group of athletes, coaches, volunteers and Mission Staff, and from day one they made their presence felt in Toronto. The Indigenous sport delivery system that I·SPARC created has shown tremendous success. But we simply couldn’t have reached new heights at NAIG without the support of our three Partner Agencies, the Provincial Sport Organizations and the significant investment the Provincial Government has made towards Team BC and our ongoing sport development programs.”

Team BC’s success is credited in no small part to the social legacy resulting from the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games. Several prominent provincial Indigenous organizations (including the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, First Nations Health Council, and Métis Nation BC) came together to develop a new provincial strategy for Indigenous sport, recreation and physical activity. That process led to the creation of the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC), the agency that now oversees Team BC. Over the past 10 years, an inclusive regional structure has been established to support the delivery of community-based Indigenous sport development programs.

In preparation for the 2017 NAIG, I·SPARC, in collaboration with a number of Provincial Sport Organizations, established a comprehensive process to select and prepare a contingent of 545 Indigenous athletes and coaches that represented British Columbia at the Toronto 2017 NAIG, including Indigenous Provincial Championships and Athlete Development Camps.

For more information about Team BC’s NAIG program visit

For information about the Toronto 2017 NAIG, please visit


Team BC Background
The Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council (I·SPARC) is responsible for managing the Team BC Programs for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) and the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC). Through the support and oversight of its Team BC Work Group and Provincial Sport Committees, I·SPARC has established a comprehensive Team BC program that includes provincial development programs and selection processes for athletes and coaches that will compete on behalf of British Columbia in national and international competitions. For the 2017 NAIG, over 500 Indigenous athletes and coaches have been selected to represent British Columbia in the following 13 sports: 3D Archery, Athletics (Track & Field, Cross-Country), Badminton, Basketball, Canoe/Kayak, Golf, Lacrosse (Box), Rifle Shooting, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Volleyball, Wrestling.

About the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity & Recreation Council
I·SPARC is a consortium of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, the First Nations Health Authority, and Métis Nation BC. As the stewards of BC’s Aboriginal Sport, Recreation and Physical Activity Strategy, I·SPARC works with First Nations, Métis Chartered Communities, Friendship Centres, schools and other sport and physical activity stakeholders to deliver community-based programs designed to promote active lifestyles and support the desire for transformative change in the health and well-being of Indigenous communities, families and individuals across B.C. For more information, please visit:

Media contact:
Justine Johnson
Team BC Communications Manager