The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is the latest event that’s been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a news release on Wednesday morning, the Halifax host society wrote that in the coming weeks the NAIG Council and NAIG 2020 team will be exploring other options to ensure young athletes still get “the full experience” in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) next summer.
The Games were scheduled to be held over July 12-18, 2020 in Kjipuktuk, Aldershot, and Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia. More than 5,000 athletes, coaches, and team staff from 756 Indigenous Nations had planned to compete in 16 sports.
Team NT had planned to send more than 150 athletes to compete in nine of the sports.
“While we are all disappointed with the postponement, it was a necessary decision. The health, safety, and well-being of the young athletes and their family and friends, along with everyone involved in the Games, including those who planned to attend, is paramount,” wrote Team NT chef de mission Jordee Reid.
“The collective goal for all of us at this time is to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Tex Marshall, the president of NAIG 2020, in Wednesday’s news release.
Marshall said it was critical to listen to leading healthcare professionals in order to slow and stop the pandemic – “even if it means the delay of something amazing.”
The planning partners are “exploring special concessions” to ensure athletes who were eligible for the 2020 Games are able to compete in the rescheduled Games, for example if they go over their event’s age limit before NAIG is rescheduled in 2021.
“Until then, let’s hold on to the idea of celebration and join together then —Indigenous and others — next summer,” added Dale Plett, president of the NAIG Council.
Sarah Pruys, a Cabin Radio reporter, was to have been Team NT’s media mission staff member for NAIG 2020.