The mandate of Indigenous Sport & Wellness Ontario (ISWO) is to enhance the overall health and quality of life for Indigenous Peoples in Ontario through promoting increased participation in sport and recreation activities.
ISWO was tasked by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport in 2014 to lead the development and implementation of a new initiative, the Sport Pathway for Ontario Native Wellness (‘Sport Pathway’), intended to accomplish the following:
- Create opportunities for Indigenous athletes to train and compete within the Indigenous community to build skill and competition preparedness;
- Build upon the existing mainstream sport and recreation system by increasing its capacity to involve and develop Indigenous participants, athletes and coaches to achieve their full potential, and;
- Reduce barriers for Indigenous Peoples to participate in organized sport.
With seed money from the ministry over the last 4 years, ISWO designed and developed a Sport Pathway for Indigenous Peoples, which includes a full continuum of sport and recreation programming for all age groups, providing playground to podium opportunities.
The consolidated effort of ASWCO in partnership with Indigenous communities over the last three years has led to the Sport Pathway reaching a level of development surpassing all expectations.