Aboriginals and sport

The Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010 were a springboard for improving the lives of British Columbia’s indigenous people and their families.

First Nations Snowboard Team | Young participants of the First Nations Snowboard Team.

The Aboriginal Youth Sport Legacy Fund, administered through LIFT Philanthropy, has played a crucial role in this regard. The Fund’s goal is to support organisations through grants and assist amateur athletes of indigenous origin in their pursuit of sporting excellence. It allows athletes training and competing at regional, provincial and national level to apply for funding. Grants are also given to organisations that increase sporting and recreation opportunities for youth within communities struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

One such organisation is the First Nations Snowboard Association (FNSA), which develops recreational and high-performance First Nation snowboard athletes. Established in 2004, after Vancouver was elected to host the Olympic Winter Games 2010, the FNSA currently has over 400 members from more than 12 First Nations territories across Canada. Since its establishment, it has attracted international coverage and has been featured in documentaries in over 50 countries.

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