Mini Thni – 2024 Alberta Indigenous Games

The Cause

Cousins Skateboard Community will be sending 75 children and youth from Mini Thni, Siksika, Tsuut'ina and Piikani Nations to participate in the Alberta Indigenous Games in 2024.

This initiative will provide 75 young Indigenous individuals aged 10 - 19 with the opportunity to take their love of skateboarding to another level and participate in cultural activities while also building life skills like determination, resilience, and relationship building.

Participating in the Alberta Indigenous Games represents a profound and vital opportunity for young people living on reserve. This event serves as a beacon of hope, a platform for personal growth, and a celebration of cultural heritage. For these youth, often facing systemic challenges and limited resources, the Games provide a chance to showcase their talents, not only in athletics like skateboarding but also in cultural expression. It fosters a sense of pride in their Indigenous identity, strengthening their connection to traditions that have sustained their communities for generations.

Beyond the competitive aspect, the Games offer a supportive and inclusive environment where these young individuals can build lasting friendships, learn valuable life skills, and expand their horizons. By participating in the Alberta Indigenous Games, they gain a sense of belonging, empowerment, and the belief that they can overcome obstacles, ultimately contributing to their personal development and the resilience of their communities.

After attending the event in 2023, one parent, whose child took home the silver medal in their category, shared, “I can’t thank enough Cousins Skateboard Community [...] for organizing this trip with all food and accommodations paid for; this is Lucas’ first time away on his own and I couldn’t be happier that it was with Cousins [...] Lucas had the time of his life. This is an experience he will remember forever and I can’t thank you enough for keeping him safe and being such mentors to him. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.”

Who Will it Benefit?

This project will benefit 75 Indigenous youth across Treaty 7 and will not only encourage physical activity but also foster skill development, self-confidence, and a sense of empowerment.

Our project connects young Indigenous athletes with experienced skateboarders and mentors who guide them in their athletic journey and lifelong participation in sport. This mentorship helps them improve their skateboarding skills and provides positive role models who inspire them to pursue their dreams and passions.

Historically, individuals that attended these trips became the next leaders of our programs. This is where we see the real ripple effect that comes from grants like this one!

The Alberta Indigenous Games also offers participants in the games who have graduated from high school and enrolled in secondary university, college or trade programs an opportunity to apply for an AIG Scholarship, encouraging our youth to consider possibilities for their future.