Canoe ’22, The Atlantic Division of CanoeKayak Canada, and The North American Indigenous Games Local Organizing Committee Sign Memorandum of Understanding

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April 26, 2022

Written By Rhea Koivu

One hundred days until the start of Canoe ’22

Panuk (Lake Banook), Punamu’kwati’jk (Dartmouth), N.S. CANADA: On April 26, 2022, 100 days until the start of Canoe ’22, members of the Canoe ’22 Host Society, representatives from the Atlantic Division CanoeKayak Canada (ADCKC), and organizers from the 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) Local Organizing Committee came together to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU strengthens an ongoing relationship of collaboration between the organizations. 

Through this partnership, the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships and NAIG 2023 will be supported by resource sharing, relationship building, and opportunities for community engagement. Panuk (Lake Banook) will be a shared venue for canoe/kayak racing at Canoe ’22 and the NAIG 2023, respectively. The Canoe ’22 and NAIG 2023 teams continue to work together, bringing opportunities for culture and historical education awareness, and celebratory programming as part of Canoe ’22. 

“In just over a year, K'jipuktuk (Halifax) and Millbrook First Nation will welcome more than 5,000 participants representing 756 nations from across Turtle Island (North America). This partnership will ensure both events deliver an exceptional athlete experience, as well as provide opportunities for participants and attendees to share and learn more about Indigenous cultures,” said Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons, Board Chair, NAIG 2023. 

ADCKC is currently expanding their partnerships with Indigenous Peoples of Atlantic Canada to recognize the foundation and history of the sport, and create greater opportunities for Indigenous athletes interested in paddling. Executive Director, Atlantic Division CanoeKayak Canada, Robin Thomson, is eager to continue the partnership with Team Mi’kmaw Nova Scotia. 

“ADCKC is continuing its commitment to Indigenous Communities. For the first time at NAIG 2023, Team Mi'kmaw Nova Scotia will have canoe/kayak athletes in an Indigenous Games. ADCKC looks forward to supporting Team Mi'kmaw Nova Scotia in its quest to bring home medals in Mi’kma'ki.”

Host Society Chair, Jill D’Alessio, looks forward to the collaboration and celebration of culture.

"We’re excited to announce this partnership and collaboration. In addition to the ways in which our organizations are working together to strengthen our operations and event experiences, we also acknowledge that the history of the canoe and the waterways on which Canoe ’22 will take place are rich with Indigenous culture and tradition and that as a sport, we need to honour the land and water on which we compete. As an International event anticipating thousands of spectators and participants, we recognize the unique opportunity and platform it provides to share this history through awareness building and celebration with our local community and International visitors.”

The Canoe ’22 Society is currently seeking volunteers. Those who are interested can learn more and sign up by going to:

Quick Facts

  • The 2023 North American Indigenous Games will take place from July 15-23 in K’jipuktuk and Millbrook First Nation. The event will bring together more than 5000 athletes, coaches, and participants from 756 Indigenous Nations.

  • There are 16 sports with three traditional Indigenous sports including canoe kayak, lacrosse, and archery.

  • ADCKC offers an Indigenous program for Indigenous youth to try paddling.

  • Canoe ’22 is expected to generate over $20 million in economic activity.

We acknowledge that Canoe ’22 will take place in Mi’kma’ki, the traditional and ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq people. We recognize the peace and friendship treaties signed between the British Crown and the Mi’kmaq from 1760 to 1769. We are all treaty people.

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Jill D’Alessio
Chair, Host Society
2022 ICF Canoe Sport & Paracanoe World Championships

Sharon Guthro
General Manager
2022 ICF Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships