The 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) are the latest major event to have to postpone because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tex Marshall, the president of NAIG, released statement Wednesday on the postponement.
“To abide by the recommendations and guidance of the Nova Scotia government and its healthcare professionals is critical to slowing and eliminating this pandemic, even if it means the delay of something amazing,” Marshall said in a statement.
Organizers announced the games, which were set to take place in Halifax starting July 12, won’t be happening till next year.
“At this point we are looking at 2021 and the actual dates still have to be determined, there’s a lot of moving parts as I’m sure you can appreciate,” said NAIG Chair Fiona Kirkpatrick Parsons. “So we’re currently in conversation with various stake holders and working on what those dates would be,”
Joanne Soldier is the mother of Waasayah Munro-Soldier, an 11 year-old archer from Swan Lake First Nation who would’ve been one of the youngest competitors at the games.
She said the news was tough to hear after all the hard work put in.
“Oh man we’ve been preparing for months and even invested in a new bow and equipment for her,” she said.
”We know she’s going to be quite disappointed.”
Organizers said those athletes who qualified for this year’s games will remain eligible to compete at the rescheduled games at a later date.
That includes athletes who will have aged out by next summer.
Parsons said everyone involved is disappointed the games had to be postponed but she believes it will be worth the wait.
“This is a postponement. We know it is disappointing, it’s disappointing to all of us we were putting our hearts and souls into hosting you this year but you know what, it’s going to be all the sweeter next year when we welcome you to Halifax Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq territory, we cant wait to see you,” said Parsons.
This is the third time NAIG has had to be cancelled or postponed.
The 2006 games were supposed to be hosted in Buffalo, New York but then were moved to Denver, Colorado a year later.
The 2011 games were also cancelled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2011.