Beating out a bid by the Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc/Kamloops, Calgary was awarded the title of host city for the 2027 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) during an announcement at the site of the 2023 Games on Saturday (July 22).

The 2027 Games are expected to attract over 6,000 participants and attendees, with youth aged 13-19 years competing in 16 sports. The athletes represent over 750 Indigenous nations across North America. The Games take place every four years. 

Tk’emlúps Kúkpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir and Kamloops Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson travelled to Halifax for the announcement, which was scheduled to take place during the closing ceremonies of this year’s games, but was postponed to the following day due to a thunderstorm that caused flooding in the city. 

Both shared their disappointment in the announcement, which was shared by provincial representatives. 

“While we are disappointed that Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc was not successful in their bid to host the 2027 NAIG, we would like to very sincerely congratulate the City of Calgary on their success,” said Casimir.

“We, at Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc, look forward to cheering on our members and other athletes from BC as they compete in the wonderful city of Calgary. I would also like to extend a huge Kukwste?p-kucw (on behalf of all of us, we thank you all) to all those that supported T?emlúps te Secwépemc in the development of the bid: City of Kamloops leadership and staff, Premier Eby, Minister Popham, staff from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, I-SPARC and the many, many local organizations that participated in our community and provided letters of support. A special thank you to the Kamloops Sports Council, Kamloops Airport, Pacific Sport, TRU, Tourism Kamloops and Niki Remesz. We had an awesome team working with us and we should all be proud of the teamwork and what we accomplished.”

Mayor Hamer-Jackson said that while the bid went well, it ultimately wasn’t the city’s time to host the event. 

“The bid, site visit and final presentation were excellent,” commented Hamer-Jackson. “We worked together to showcase the incredible cultural opportunities and amenities we offer, but it was not our time to host. We congratulate Calgary on their successful bid and wish them an awesome Games in 2027.”

The bid was supported by Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops, bolstered by additional support from the provincial government and local organizations looking to bring the large-scale event to the Tournament Capital. 

Premier David Eby shared his disappointment in the announcement, also congratulating the Albertan bid winner. 

“I share with Tk?emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops their disappointment at not being chosen to host the 2027 North American Indigenous Games,” noted Eby. “I know their heartfelt efforts will be rewarded in future. Congratulations to Calgary on a successful bid. We will be cheering competitors from B.C. at what we hope are a very memorable and successful Games.”

For more information on the North American Indigenous Games visit www.naigcouncil.com.