Federal Investment Expands Reach of Award-Winning Indigenous Sport Gallery

June 1, 2022

Vancouver, BC – As National Indigenous History Month is recognized, the BC Sports Hall of Fame is thrilled to announce today, a significant investment from the Government of Canada that will support the digitization of the Indigenous Sport Gallery, making it accessible to people across Canada and around the world.

The Department of Canadian Heritage, through the Museums Assistance Program’s Digital Access to Heritage Fund, will provide $560,000 over three years that will bring the largest known gallery dedicated to Indigenous sport, online.  The Fund provides funding to heritage organizations to digitize collections, develop digital content and build their capacity in these areas.

“The BC Sports Hall of Fame spurs curiosity in British Columbia’s rich sporting heritage by preserving and showcasing one of Canada’s largest sport heritage artifact collections,” said the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Thanks to the vision and dedication of many partners, this virtual gallery will offer a unique, interactive experience allowing Canadians to deepen their knowledge and honour the legacy of Indigenous sport culture and history in Canada.”

“In partnership with the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council of BC and a group of dedicated Indigenous leaders, this inspiring endeavour will increase awareness and understanding of traditional Indigenous sports and games,” said the Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport, and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec. “I am thrilled to see the digitization of the Indigenous Sport Gallery come to life!”

Established in 2018, the Indigenous Sport Gallery at the BC Sports Hall of Fame is the largest known permanent gallery in the world dedicated to Indigenous sport and highlights the accomplishments and contributions of Indigenous athletes, coaches and builders who have had a profound impact on sport history and culture – and brings their stories to life.

“On behalf the Board of Trustees at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, we are tremendously grateful to the federal government for an investment that will allow us to continue to celebrate Indigenous sport together and properly recognize, profile and preserve the legacy of Indigenous sport in BC,” said Lara Mussell-Savage, Chair of the Education Committee at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, and Chief of the Skwah First Nation.

About the BC Sports Hall of Fame:

The BC Sports Hall of Fame celebrates extraordinary achievement in B.C. sport history and inspires future generations to make their dreams come true.  As a non-profit charitable organization, the Hall curates an astounding collection of 27,000 heritage artifacts and 100,000 archival documents representing 150-years of sport history in British Columbia. Through Hero in You Youth Education Programs, the BC Sports Hall of Fame reaches over 6,500 young learners each year across the province, advancing a mission of building outstanding community legacies by honouring the past and inspiring the future.

For more information, please visit bcsportshall.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @bcsportshall.

About the Indigenous Sports Gallery:

The Indigenous Sport Gallery contains more than 1,500 square feet of permanent exhibit space that celebrates the rich history and many contributions to sport by First Nations and Métis athletes, teams, coaches, builders, and volunteers. This is the largest known permanent gallery in the world dedicated to Indigenous Sport and won two international awards in 2019, including Best New Exhibit in the World by the International Sports Heritage Association. It also serves as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #87, to provide public education that tells the national story of Indigenous athletes in history.”

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