Indigenous athletes from across northwestern Ontario will be gathering at the Kenora Sportsplex early next month – competing to make it to the North American Indigenous Games.

Volunteer Girls’ Soccer Coach and former Canada Winter Games athlete, Jennie Hissa, explains Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario volunteers will be hosting Team Ontario’s Tryouts at the Kenora Sportsplex on February 4 and 5.

“We’re really excited! It’s such an amazing opportunity to participate in an international-scale sporting event, especially for Indigenous youth. We expect a lot of turnout. It will be very competitive. Whether you’re experienced or a multi-sport athlete looking to try something new, we’d love to have you!”


It’s the game’s tenth anniversary, and they’re being held between 21 venues in Halifax, Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation in July. Over 5,200 athletes are expected to attend. They were originally scheduled for 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Hissa explains First Nation, Metis and Inuit athletes from across the region, from Kenora to the Ignace, Sioux Lookout and Upsala areas, are all invited to the tryouts at the Kenora Sportsplex, which will all be team and scrimmage based, opposed to drills.  

There is a $35 cost to try out, but athletes can try out for multiple sports throughout the two-day event at no additional cost. Tryouts are co-ed unless otherwise specified and athletes are asked to arrive on time.

If you don’t expect to be able to make it in person, virtual tryouts are possible. You’re asked to contact for arrangements.

Sports at the 2023 NAIG include:

- 3-D Archery – 16U, 19U
- Athletics – 14U, 16U, 19U
- Badminton – 16U, 19U
- Baseball – 19U
- Basketball – 14U, 16U, 19U
- Beach Volleyball – 16U, 19U
- Box Lacrosse – Males 16U, 19U, Females 19U
- Canoe/Kayak – 14U, 16U, 19U
- Golf – 16U, 19U
- Rifle Shooting – 16U, 19U
- Soccer – 16U, 19U
- Softball – 16U, 19U
- Swimming – 14U, 16U, 19U
- Volleyball – 16U, 19U
- Wrestling – 19U