The North American Indigenous Games are coming to Halifax — known in the language of Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaw community as K’jipuktuk — and the province says it will be the largest multi-sporting event to ever be held in Nova Scotia.
The decision was announced on Thursday in Montreal and marked the first time that the event will be hosted in Atlantic Canada.
Premier Stephen McNeil offered his congratulations to the Mi’kmaq Sport Council of Nova Scotia on their winning bid in a press release sent out late on Thursday.
“This is a very proud moment for the Mi’kmaq Sport Council, our Mi’kmaw communities and all Nova Scotians,” wrote McNeil, who also serves as the province’s minister of aboriginal affairs.
“The games will be an exciting opportunity to showcase our province and celebrate Mi’kmaw culture and heritage as we cheer on the athletes.”
The province has committed $3.5 million to support the games, which will include more than 5,000 competitors from over 756 nations.
The competitors will take part in 15 sporting events over an eight day period in various locations in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Millbrook, N.S.
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Nova Scotia’s 13 Mi’kmaq communities along with the HRM, Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University and Sports Nova Scotia helped support the bid by the Mi’kmaq sport council.
“We are honoured the North American Indigenous Games Council has selected Nova Scotia to host the 2020 games and look forward to welcoming the participants,” said Norman Bernard, chief of Wagmatcook and president of Mi’kmaq sport council.
Toronto hosted the 2017 iteration of the North American Indigenous games.