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British Columbia Church Helps Host First Nations Games

While the rest of the world watched the Beijing Olympics, Duncan (B.C.) Christian Reformed Church helped its community host games of local cultural significance.

The North American Indigenous Games brought 4,500 athletes from across Canada and the U.S. to Vancouver Island in August. This ninth edition of the games was the first to be hosted by a tribe (the Cowichan Tribe) rather than a city.

Members of Duncan CRC assisted with accommodations, acted as chaperones in the athletes’ village, and served on the medical, food services, mission support, and prayer circle teams.

Marguerite Visscher, a member of Duncan CRC, has been involved with symposiums held over the past two years to bring together First Nations peoples and churches to heal and restore the spiritual brokenness of the past.

She said hosting the games in Duncan was a natural way for First Nations people and others to work toward bridging the gulf of misunderstanding between them.

Visscher volunteered as a chaperone at a local school that housed the Saskatchewan female athletes. “It was so amazing to see these young athletes regain a sense of pride in themselves and in their cultures,” she said.

About the Author

Jenny deGroot is a teacher/librarian in Langley, British Columbia.

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