Pilot Implementation of the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway: Sharing Successes and Lessons Learned

From November 2016 through to June 2017, Sport for Life and the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC; B.C.’s Indigenous Sport Body) worked with four provincial sport organizations (PSOs) to pilot the implementation of the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway. The overall goal of this work is to help mainstream sport better understand the unique needs of Aboriginal participants as well as the importance of – and approach to – sport in Aboriginal culture, including a holistic approach where sport can support mental, physical, cultural and spiritual health.

These four PSOs, including BC Snowboard, CanoeKayak BC, Basketball BC and BC Wheelchair Basketball, were identified based on their organizational readiness to enhance their work around the inclusion of Aboriginal participants in their sports. Through workshops, mentorship, and building relationships with ISPARC, these PSOs identified their barriers and gaps and then developed action plans around their technical leadership, training, event hosting, operations and governance to better respond to the needs and goals of Aboriginal participants and athletes. One of the greatest benefits of this process was the relationships built between the PSOs, ISPARC, Sport for Life and the implementation co-mentors.

The PSOs indicated that they will continue to reach out to each other and ISPARC to discuss ideas, challenges, and other areas of opportunities. We are also starting to see increased vertical and horizontal alignment between the local, provincial and national sport organizations and we are continuing to support the implementation of the the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway with sport organizations across the country. This pilot was made possible through funding from the BC Sport Participation Program, which is a bilateral funding program through the Government of Canada and the Province of B.C.

The implementation of the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway is a call to action for sport organizations to be more inclusive of Aboriginal participants in their programs, and provides the support and expertise for these organizations to do so. For more information, visit www.sportforlife.ca/aboriginal-peoples/ or contact Emily Rand, Manager of Special Projects, emily@sportforlife.ca.

>> Click here to download the action plans

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