Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Kukpi7 Rosanne Casimir says a band and City of Kamloops delegation that recently presented its final pitch for hosting the 2027 North American Indigenous Games gave the competition “a huge run for their money.”
Last week, Casimir travelled to Nova Scotia as part of a group tasked with delivering an in-person presentation to the full North American Indigenous Games selection committee.
The group included representatives from TteS and the City of Kamloops, including Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson and Coun. Bill Sarai.
“I think the pitch went absolutely amazing,” Casimir said.
“We put in our hearts, our soul, our spirits, and our passion for the importance of bringing the North American Indigenous Games here to the Tournament Capital of Canada.”
Tk’emlups and the City of Kamloops are competing against Calgary to host the games, and Casimir said each presentation was held separately.
“We didn't see their presentation, and they didn't see our presentation either,” Casimir said. “I do know that we had such a comprehensive package. It was just absolutely incredible.”
The local delegation had one hour to give their presentation, showcasing Kamloops as a potential host community.
Sarai said Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Frank Caputo attended the presentation along with Murray Rankin, provincial minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, who brought a video from Premier David Eby and Lana Popham, tourism minister.
“We put up a strong presentation,” Sarai said, adding this was the first time in his tenure as a city councillor that he’s seen four levels of government supporting each other on a common issue.
“It went a long way for reconciliation. It really made a difference,” Sarai said.
Casimir said the group talked about several key points, including available sporting venues, accommodations, and what the opening and closing ceremonies could look like.
She said the presentation also included what it will mean for the local economy to host the events.
“We gave Calgary a huge run for their money. We put in our spirits, and we really showed them how working together really makes a huge difference,” Casimir said, adding she was thankful for the City of Kamloops and their collaboration on the bid.
If the bid is successful, 6,000 athletes, coaches, team staff and cultural performers from more than 750 Indigenous nations in Canada and the United States will visit the region for eight days of competition. This would be the largest sporting event held in Tournament Capital history.
The 2027 host community is expected to be announced during the closing ceremonies of this year’s games, which are held in Halifax from July 15 to July 23.
Casimir said regardless of who receives the honour of hosting, she is excited for the Indigenous youth who are able to participate in the games.
“Youth are going to benefit from the experience, and youth are going to be the ones that are going to be upheld through this journey,” she said.