ABC Wednesday is "N" for North American. It is a blast from the past.
This was possibly one of the largest and most successful sporting and cultural events held on Vancouver Island. It was the seventh of the North American Indigenous Games which started in 1990. For the first time a city did not host the event, a tribe did. It is usually held every three years for First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Native American and North American Indian athletes.
Aboriginal participants from all across North America came and competed in traditional and contemporary sports. They came from Nunavut to New York and from Oregon to Nova Scotia to compete in basketball, baseball, canoeing, and archery and many other summer sports. There were around an estimated 7,000 participants and an estimate of around 20,000 combined participants and spectators. There was a traditional Coast Salish welcoming ceremony.
It was a powerful and moving experience for me and some of my most vivid memories are of the day we spent there. I tried so hard to capture that feeling with my camera but the shots that you cannot see are of a diverse people from all over the place sharing this time and place in history with such a gentle grace.
It was a very warm day in August of 2008 and the main stage was set nestled on a golden field and the lovely Cowichan River ran along beside us and we waded in the cool water and watched others swim and jump from the bridge as the music and drums washed over us.