TORONTO — Before Team Florida started competition in six sports at the North American Indigenous Games and before its Seminoles went out and captured four gold medals and one bronze along the way, athletes, coaches and parents were treated to a high-energy opening night ceremony July 16.
Thousands of indigneous athletes from throughout Canada and the U.S. filled Aviva Centre on the campus of York University in Toronto.
Early evening storms pushed back the schedule and altered the original plans which would have featured all athletes parading on the stadium floor. Instead, a few representatves from each team did the honors for their entire squad. For Team Florida, Trevor Thomas and Conner Thomas, both from the archery team, and rifle shooter Eecho Billie walked in the team’s colorful jackets while carrying Florida and Seminole signs and flags.
The weather cooperated for the rest of the evening, allowing for an electrifcying performance from Native singer Taboo, of the Black Eyed Peas, who the brought young athletes to their feet with a high-octane performance alongside dancers.
The next NAIG will be held in 2020. The host is expected to be selected later this year.