History of the Games

Reviving the games,

In fall 2009, a group of Mi’kmaw Chiefs from Unama’ki began discussions on reviving the Summer Games, an athletic gathering and competitions that Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia previously held from the 1970s to 1990s. The Chiefs agreed that it is very important to encourage youth involvement in sports, and ensure that Mi’kmaw traditions are passed on to younger generations. In the past, the Summer Games were a great way to celebrate both sports and culture. Lifelong friendships were built because of the games, which helps strengthen the Mi’kmaw Nation.


To inspire youth and young adults to believe in themselves, achieve their dreams and unite with all indigenous communities to share and learn Mi’kmaw culture and traditions.


To be a stronger First Nation community whose spirit is raised by its passion for sport and the Mi’kmaw culture.




Our definition of sustainability refers to the social, economic and environmental impacts and opportunities the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Summer Games (NSMSG) produce – specifically, lasting benefits.

Some examples of this long-term impact are:

  • Promoting health and wellness within all communities year round – particularly amongst our youth. This will be achieved by year long preparations for the games, through training and practice sessions.
  • Sports Education (coaches clinics) – These have been offered the last two years prior to the games and are open to those who wish to become certified.
  • Upgrades to field and facilities
  • Continuing to instill team spirit and help build friendships that will last a lifetime.

Capacity Building

As far as the summer games society is concerned, when talking about capacity building, we are talking about enhancing the ability of all five Cape Breton Mi’kmaw communities, and now the Mainland communities, to address their health issues and concerns. We are addressing this to some degree with the summer games event. One of our goals is to instill the love of sports and healthy lifestyles amongst youth. If we can touch the youth of today with this message, there is a chance they will continue on the path of health and wellness throughout their lives.

Capacity Building relies strongly on collaboration and partnerships which we have many – this includes the partnerships of all Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia. Also, with the support of government and local businesses, in the past five years we have built many strong relationships. One of the challenges we face is obtaining more funding for both the games and the host communities. With more funding, the games could continue to grow and add more to the overall event.

Years of Success:

So far, the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Summer Games have been held in the following communities:

2010 Membertou First Nation
2011 Wagmatcook First Nation
2012 Eskasoni First Nation
2013 Waycobah First Nation
2014 Potlotek First Nation
2015 Millbrook First Nation
2016 Membertou First Nation
2017 Wagmatcook First Nation