Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam (second from left) hopes the City of Victoria comes on board with a bid for the 2020 North American Indigenous Games. Family members Gavin, Nathan and Josh Sam, pictured here, played lacrosse for Team B.C. in the 2017 Games in Toronto. Lauren Boothby /VICTORIA NEWS

Victoria considers 2020 North American Indigenous Games bid

Songhees Nation Chief Ron Sam says committee meets next week

This story has been updated with new information since the original posting.

Victoria could once again be hosting the North American Indigenous Games, the News has learned.

Chief Ron Sam of the Songhees Nation said he’s in the process of forming a committee to discuss a bid application for Victoria to host the Games in 2020. The committee will be meeting next week, where there will potentially be representatives from the City of Victoria, and the provincial and federal governments. The office of Murray Rankin, federal member of parliament for Victoria, has confirmed they are sending a representative to the Songhees Wellness Centre on Monday.

“It’s slowly coming together right now,” Sam said. “The city is big enough. We have hotels, we have sport venues, we have universities for lodging athletes …We’re just crossing our fingers.”

Coun. Marianne Alto will also be attending the meeting and said she is looking forward to hearing more about the bid and what hosting the Games could look like.

“I think it’s a really exciting opportunity,” she said. “When [the Games have] appeared in other communities, it’s had very beneficial effects. Not just for Indigenous communities involved, but for the surrounding communities as well.”

Mayor Lisa Helps said if the Songhees Nation is interested, she would consider supporting the bid.

“We want to support the First Nations here, and if this is something they want to take leadership on, I would be happy to learn more and hear about the opportunity,” she said.

RELATED: Songhees youth among those recognized by province for achievement in sport

The 2020 Games were initially awarded to Winnipeg, but Sam said that bid has fallen through, opening the door to other bidders. Victoria hosted the Games in 1997.

The North American Indigenous Games in Toronto and Hamilton this year saw 5,000 athletes compete in 14 sports. Roughly 2,000 volunteers were involved in staging the Games, which attracted thousands of visitors.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Greater Victoria faces multiple charges following six-month investigation

Greater Victoria’s living wage now costs $20.50 an hour

Cost of living increase drives region’s living wage up 49 cents, leaving you able to afford only one latte per year

West Shore resident receives B.C. Community Achievement Award

Kevin Albers fell into building affordable housing and hasn’t looked back

Spencer Middle School students redefining percussion

Students win hardware at international festival

Spill at Victoria airport prompts emergency response

North Saanich Fire and ambulance respond to spill of unknown substance

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

Sights of Saanich bring smiles to Japanese delegation

A small leap highlighted the short but potentially historic visit of a… Continue reading

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Greenbelt Microgreens recall in B.C., Alberta, due to Listeria concerns

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says there have been no illnesses linked to the microgreens

Most Read