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

North American Indigenous Games

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Police investigating alleged assault on Oak Bay Avenue

Staff at Oak Bay Home Hardware say one person was taken to hospital

VIDEO: Seal pup and mom play and ‘kiss’ in Oak Bay Marina

BRNKL seal cam captures harbour seal growing up in busy harbour

Oak Bay neighbourhoods rocked by blasting activity

Oak Bay seeks new rock blasting bylaw regarding ‘continuous’ noise

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read