Canada’s First Nations are under-represented in sport


A Guest post by Jason Anson

I recently started The Virtual Alliance for Sport Technology (V.A.S.T.). It is a community of people who use technology – of whatever kind – in sport. My aim in creating it – with Dr. Sandy Willmott – is to facilitate the generation and sharing of knowledge. To do this it uses the online tools provided by Google communities to connect people from around the world, allowing them to interact freely and productively.

At the heart of this project is a look at how Canadian Sport is working with First Nation communities with their policies and Long-Term Athlete Development philosophy and what impact that is having. First Nations parents want their children to have the chance to compete at the Olympics, but the pathway for reaching that objective has not been working. For example, No First Nations paddler has represented Canada at the Olympics since Alwyn Morris in 1984.

Richard Hill from CS4L stated: “we’re not fundamentally closed minded” and he went on to say: “it’s to figure out how, and the faster we can figure out how is the faster we can help address this issue”. Therefore the intent of V.A.S.T. is to show the CS4L how the Have-Nots can use technology to implement an adapted version of the LTAD and achieve their Olympic dreams. V.A.S.T. will provide a unique comparison to the CS4L:LTAD in terms of how we use technology to bridge the gap for the Have-Nots and allow the First Nations people of Canada to have a real chance at obtaining their Olympic dreams in the sport of canoe, while being culturally sensitive in the process.

However, I cannot STRESS to you enough of the challenges I have experienced to date. First, being the reality of First Nations life and the fact that some might say we (the dominant culture) have taken the ‘culture’ away from the aboriginals and are now ‘teaching’ it back to them, through Canoe Kayak Canada’s Aboriginal Paddling Initiative. This seems very patriarchal, demeaning, and insulting to many First Nations individuals..

This project starts with the question “What age should someone start using video performance analysis software in their sport?” Please join us to discuss and follow this topic:


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