AUNDECK OMNI KANING FIRST NATION, ON , Aug. 4, 2023 /CNW/ – Six Nations of the Grand River, ON – Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) and the Indigenous Ontario Championship (IOC) met on the greens of the Monthill Golf & Country Club this week to sign a partnership agreement alongside Golf Ontario, formalizing their cooperative commitment to the advancement of Indigenous Sports Tourism. Through collaborative efforts, this new agreement lays the groundwork to achieve broader goals, of bringing Indigenous Sport Tourism to the forefront.
The Indigenous Ontario Championship held its inaugural event last fall at the Six Nations of the Grand River, marking the first Open Provincial Championship in Canada for Indigenous golfers; featuring participants from across North America, and representing 41 various Indigenous communities. As part of Golf Ontario’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion model “Golf For All” this tournament is an exciting new opportunity for high-performance and elite Indigenous athletes to compete at the provincial level.
During 2022, ITO established its presence within the sports tourism realm by providing quality Indigenous sporting experiences to First Nations communities by supporting two major hockey events: the Toronto Maple Leafs Alumni Association games and the 49th Annual Little Native Hockey League (LNHL) tournaments. The resoundingly positive reception to these events, confirms that there is both a need and a demand for a comprehensive Indigenous Sports Tourism Strategy in Ontario. ITO has undertaken this work and will continue to form partnerships with progressive organizations that support Indigenous prosperity.
“Indigenous Tourism Ontario is extremely pleased to support the Indigenous Ontario Golf Championships. With many high-performance and elite athletes travelling from across Ontario to compete, this is a great example of Indigenous Sport Tourism at work. By signing a Memorandum of Understanding that includes Golf Ontario, we will continue to build meaningful, collaborative and mutually beneficial relationships that continue to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous people and grow the tourism economy, for all to benefit.” – Kevin Eshkawkogan, President & CEO, Indigenous Tourism Ontario.
“Golf Ontario is excited to establish this alliance with Indigenous Tourism Ontario. This partnership exemplifies our shared vision to elevate the Indigenous Ontario Championship and allow Indigenous athletes to showcase their incredible talents on a provincial stage. We look forward to bringing individuals and communities together to share in the excitement of the Championship.” – Kyle Mcfarlane, CEO, Golf Ontario
“As tournament Chair, our belief is to include and bring together partnerships that will be beneficial for the next seven generations. We value the work of both Indigenous Tourism Ontario and Golf Ontario. We sit in a circle together, cheering on the best golfers from Turtle Island and giving thanks to the Creator for our path moving forward.” Stephen W. Tooshkenig– Ojibwe/Pottawatomi, Indigenous Ontario Golf Championships, Tournament Chairman
Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is the province’s first and only dedicated Indigenous tourism organization. We are a membership-based non-profit whose mission is to support Ontario’s Indigenous tourism owners and operators by providing meaningful financial, marketing, and industry guidance, and to advocate on their behalf with government and regional industry bodies. We are recognized by the Chiefs of Ontario (COO), and Government of Ontario organizations and ministries for our work therein.
Our primary mandate is to improve the economic conditions of Indigenous Peoples through tourism by providing support, resources, guidance, and advocacy work.
About Golf Ontario & the IOC:
Golf Ontario is Ontario’s Provincial Sport Organization focused on enhancing participation, elevating performance, and supporting the passion of golfers in Ontario. With over 100,000 individual members and 500 member clubs, Golf Ontario is one of the largest golf associations in the world. From rating courses and keeping the integral rules of the game intact to growing the game at the grassroots level and hosting the best amateur tournaments in Canada, Golf Ontario is a passionate group dedicated to Shaping Lives Through Golf.
The Indigenous Ontario Golf Championship is a 36-hole competition, taking place over two days and open to Ontario residents who are of First Nations, Métis, or Inuk descent. There is both a Gross Championship division, and a Net Stableford division, and will be open to men and women of all ages.
The 2023 edition takes place August 13-16, details can be found here:
Image courtesy of Kohyn Eshkawkogan
SOURCE Indigenous Tourism Ontario