The Government of Canada Announces Sport and Physical Activity Program Investment in Indigenous Communities in Alberta

Sport and physical activity not only have the power to build self-esteem and leadership skills, but also play a key role in supporting dynamic and healthy communities. 

That is why today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced a contribution of up to $47.5 million over five years to expand sport and physical activity programming in Indigenous communities across Canada. That includes nearly $1 million over two years to Indigenous Sports Council Alberta (ISCA).

ISCA is a registered non-profit provincial multisport organization that represents all First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth in Alberta. It works to promote recreation and sport programs, and offers leadership training opportunities at all levels. The Council also supports individuals who compete and succeed at higher levels of competition.

This funding will help provide safe and welcoming activities that may range from informal play to structured sport. It will allow ISCA to provide more Indigenous people in the province the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity and build stronger, healthier communities for all. 


“Taking part in physical activity and sport strengthens the confidence of youth, improves school attendance, promotes healthy lifestyles and helps build strong, healthy communities. Today’s announcement will help provide Indigenous youth in Alberta and across Canada the skills they need to build strong, healthy communities.

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“Indigenous Sport Council Alberta is honoured to host Minister Duncan as she announces the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities funding for Alberta. We have a lot of work to do moving forward and are thankful Sport Canada is making this a priority for our Indigenous youth. This new funding will help ISCA continue to build relationships through sport, wellness and physical activity with our communities, and ISCA is excited to start the process.”

—Shannon Dunfield, Chair, ISCA

“The Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC) is pleased with Minister Duncan’s announcement of national funding available specifically for Indigenous sport and physical activity programming in Canada. This contribution will enable Indigenous communities to leverage capacity and enhance opportunities. As the national voice in sport, fitness, culture and recreation pursuits for the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the ASC supports this step towards reconciliation.”

—Carey Calder, CEO, Aboriginal Sport Circle

Quick facts

  • On May 31, 2019, the Government of Canada announced the launch of the Sport for Social Development in Indigenous Communities (SSDIC) component of the Sport Support Program, delivered by the Department of Canadian Heritage (Sport Canada branch).
  • The SSDIC has four main objectives: to improve health, education and employability of Indigenous persons in Canada, and to reduce at-risk behaviour.
  • Funding is delivered through two streams to expand sport and physical activity programming in as many as 300 Indigenous communities across Canada:
    • Stream 1: $5.3 million will be made available annually to the 13 provincial/territorial Aboriginal sport bodies and the Aboriginal Sport Circle for the development of sport and physical activity community projects.
    • Stream 2: $3.6 million will be made available annually to Indigenous governments, communities and organizations, including delivery organizations working in collaboration with Indigenous communities, for projects that promote sport and physical activity in Indigenous communities. 
  • The Government of Canada is the largest single contributor to sport in this country and supports sport participation and excellence through federal programs and policies.

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