Monday July 17th, 2023

After a long delay which spanned nearly four years, the 2023 edition of the NAIG (North American Indigenous Games) has begun. We left Kanawhake early Saturday morning, headed for Halifax Nova Scotia with a team comprising of coaches and athletes from CLIC, KTMWC, KSS and The Montreal Wrestling Club NTC. To say that this was an eclectic bunch was an understatement and rightfully so, as in the spirit of the games, cooperation was key as we all came together for this event celebrating aboriginal excellence.

Team EDN prepares to depart for the Opening Ceremonies

By far, the largest representation for the wrestling team came from the Kanieinkehaka Tehontatienas Mohawk WC, as Coaches Angel Robertson and Otiohkwannorn Montour were joined by Apprentice coach Jordyn Goodleaf and Supervisor Kennikahontesha Montour. Athletes representing the club were Ava Hamelin and Sabrina Montour for the girls while Owen Diabo, Kash Diggs and Kahentaraken Snow Patton competed on the boys side. CLIC’s representative for the tournament was Nathan Zachary while KSS was represented by Drey Morris and Jack Phillips. Rounding out the team was Ryder Church and myself from the Montreal Wrestling Club NTC.

All set to depart

The opening ceremonies began on the Sunday and this opening ceremony has to rank as one of the more unique opening ceremonies I’ve ever taken part in. Part of what made it so unique is that the cultural aspect played a huge role in the types of performances we saw. The host city pulled out all the stops as aboriginal artists in all genres of singing, dancing and performing put on some spectacular acts.

The parade begins

As per normal with Opening Ceremonies, many dignitaries such as some Grand Chiefs, politicians and cultural leaders gave speeches to commemorate the games. There was even an appearance from the Prime Minister himself, Justin Trudeau. All in all, the energy was high throughout the evening, ending with a traditional Water Ceremony to open the games.

Team EDN enters the arena

The venue begins to fill up, and what a venue it was!

Now, the hard part begins. The athletes need to make weight and peak at the right time. We go into these games with a lot of hope as many of our athletes are young but promising. Here’s hoping for a strong performance. Go Team EDN!