Award-winning Indigenous Sport Gallery connects the virtual world

The award-winning BC Sports Hall of Fame Indigenous Sport Gallery will soon be available online, bringing the compelling and powerful stories of Indigenous athletes, coaches and builders to communities and classrooms across the province.

“Posting the stories of these historic Indigenous leaders, coaches and athletes online helps honor their important legacies and inspire future generations of Indigenous athletes,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Call to Truth and Reconciliation Action # 87 tells the national story of Indigenous athletes in history. This project is reconciliation in action and shows the power of partnering and paddling together.

The province is investing $ 198,000 to expand the Indigenous Sport Gallery into an interactive online experience and to translate gallery content into Indigenous languages. This investment is in addition to a provincial grant of $ 50,000 in May 2021 through the BC Arts Council.

Working in partnership with indigenous peoples, communities and sports organizations, the project will be guided by an indigenous designer and cultural ambassador to ensure that content is authentically transformed from the physical to the virtual world. Completion is scheduled for spring 2023.

“The Indigenous Sport Gallery highlights the accomplishments and contributions of Indigenous athletes, coaches, teams and builders who have had a profound impact on the history and culture of sport. This project will continue ongoing efforts to celebrate Indigenous sport together and honor the stories of Indigenous athletes, ”said Lara Mussell-Savage, Chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Education Committee and Chief of the Skwah First Nation. “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, we are extremely grateful to the province for this vital support that will bring this dynamic new dimension to life to the gallery and help us reach a wider audience beyond the physical gallery walls. This virtual gallery will provide a unique and interactive experience for visitors to learn about the culture and history of Indigenous sport and gain greater appreciation. “

The Indigenous Sport Gallery at the BC Sports Hall of Fame is the largest known permanent gallery in the world dedicated to Indigenous sport. Established in 2018 in collaboration with the Indigenous Council for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (I SPARC), the gallery’s goal is to raise the profile and preserve the legacy of Indigenous sport in British Columbia, as well as to strengthen understanding and appreciation of indigenous reconciliation; promote the revitalization of indigenous languages; and increase recognition of and respect for indigenous cultures and traditions.

Fast facts:

  • The Indigenous Sport Gallery contains over 139 square meters (1,500 square feet) of permanent exhibition space that celebrates the rich history and many contributions to sport of First Nations and Métis athletes, teams, coaches, builders and volunteers. .
  • The gallery features over 20 different traditional sports or games important to indigenous peoples.
  • More than 40 active and past Indigenous athletes are featured in the gallery, including Terry Fox, Jack Poole, Richard Peter (basketball) and Angela Chalmers (running).
  • The gallery won two awards:
    • winner of the 2019 Canadian Museums Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Exhibitions category; and
    • World’s Best New Exhibition 2019 by the International Sports Heritage Association.

Learn more:

For more information on the Indigenous Sport Gallery, visit: https://bcsportshall.com/exhibit/indigenous-sport-gallery/

For a video of Mark’s announcement at the Indigenous Sport Gallery, visit: https://youtu.be/xrqWD0oSeHs

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