Island woman heading North American Indigenous Games

Marcia Trudeau, CEO of the 2017 North American Indigenous Games. Photo Courtesy of Linda Roy.

Marcia Trudeau will lead major Toronto event

WIKWEMIKONG—Marcia Trudeau of Wikwemikong has been selected as the CEO of the 2017 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), to be held in Toronto, a position she is honoured to take on.

“When people come together for the games it’s not just about what happens on the track, pool or field, it’s about coming together to celebrate cultural diversity—it’s a huge part of the games,” said Ms. Trudeau of why she wanted to take on her new role. “The games have been getting a high level of support from the government and indigenous communities because the games support several of the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation (Commission of Canada). Five specifically deal with sport and recreation such as  No. 88 which states, ‘We call up upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.’ It can’t be highlighted enough the importance of sports and wellness.”

Ms. Trudeau said that every three years the games alternate between being held in the US and Canada, but as there were no bids for 2017 from the US, the Aboriginal Sport and Wellness Council of Ontario mounted a bid for the games to be held in Toronto and were successful.

“We have garnered financial support from the provincial and federal government and the City of Toronto as well,” said Ms. Trudeau. “A big piece for us is obtaining enough sponsorship for our 10.1 million dollar budget, but we are well on our way to successfully meeting our target to deliver the games.”

With her new job, which started in July, the 40-year-old Wikwemikong band member has been balancing her time working in Mississauga and travelling home to Wikwemikong on weekends to spend time with her fiance Saul Bomberry and their two children, five-year-old Olive-Marie and two-year-old Lauren.

Ms. Trudeau left her position as the strategic investment officer with the United Chiefs and Councils of Mnidoo Mnising that she held since 2013 to accept the new role.

In addition to being a former varsity lacrosse player at Brock University, Ms. Trudeau has been involved with the NAIG in the past working as a communications and development director for the national Aboriginal Sport Circle in 2008 when the games were held in Cowichan, BC. As well, she was part of the Team Ontario mission staff for the last games in Regina in 2014. She also managed the Aboriginal Sport Hero Torch Bearer program for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

“I had the knowledge and the background, coupled with my education, to take on this role—it seemed like the perfect fit,” explained Ms. Trudeau. “I believe in the value of sport and the power it has to instill traits in individuals such as leadership and confidence.”

“Everything has been pretty busy in all areas getting ready for the games,” said Ms. Trudeau. “It is all going full speed ahead now that most of the senior managers are in place.”

The 2017 NAIG will bring 5,000 competitors and 2,000 volunteers to Toronto from July 16 to 23, 2017.

For more information about the 2017 NAIG visit naigcouncil.com or aswco.ca.