Sport for Life is passionate about mobilizing quality sport experiences to every community in Canada, as we believe physical activity can transform the lives of participants and change the epidemic of preventable health conditions related to sedentary behaviours.
In the upcoming film The Grizzlies, viewers will experience the story of a small lacrosse team from Kugluktuk, Nunavut, and witness the impact sport had on the lives of the players. In telling the story of Indigenous athletes, the film is fulfilling one of the five calls to action related to sport in the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
“Everybody has a right to play, no matter where they live. For the people of Kugluktuk, who were dealing with the intergenerational trauma of residential schools and facing the highest suicide rate in the country, this program was their ticket to a more hopeful future,” said CEO Richard Way.
“Coach Russ Sheppard was instrumental in bringing quality sport to the North.”
The Grizzlies has already screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is now opening across the country. One of the calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, which Sport for Life has incorporated into all of its resources, is to share the stories of indigenous athletes. We believe this is one of many stories that could be shared of Indigenous innovation and resilience.
“There is a need for more than single story about today’s reality in First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities across Turtle Island. The Grizzlies adds another story to the Truth and Reconciliation landscape,” said Greg Henhawk, Manager of Indigenous Programs.
“The Grizzlies reinforces the need for truth and also the need for education on both sides of the reconciliation equation. The Creator’s game, lacrosse, has been and continues to be powerful medicine contributing to the healing journey of Indigenous people and communities. The positive impact of sport and active living on the wellness of all people must be promoted and celebrated.”
Spot for Life applauds both the work being done in Kugluktuk, and the film inspired by it.
“The Grizzlies is a potent example of what can be accomplished when communities develop physical literacy initiatives and create opportunities for quality sport experiences,” said Andrea Carey, Director of Operations and Special Projects.
“Sport has a role to play in reconciliation, and has the power to heal and transform communities. In this film we see a community that decided to embrace sport as a vehicle for positive change . Hopefully we can take the lessons of this film and put them into practice across the country. Over the past few years we have been involved in articulating the Indigenous pathways in sport and physical activity. There is a vibrant Indigenous sport system in Canada and these stories are important to be told. ”