September 30 is a day for Canadians to honour, acknowledge, and reflect on the history of residential school systems and ongoing hardships Indigenous communities face. We will also highlight the resilience of Indigenous peoples and continue to strengthen our allyship and existing bonds with Indigenous communities.
Golf Canada is committed to ensuring that golf reflects the strengths of Canada’s diversity. Through First Tee – Canada, we offer accessible, inclusive and safe golf programming to children from all backgrounds. First Tee staff have developed trusting relationships with community groups, schools, and golf enthusiasts in Indigenous communities across the country. In collaboration, we are providing life-enhancing experiences through golf to youth.
First Tee – British Columbia has connected with the Indigenous populations of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nations as well as the Okanagan Indian Band to run programming at golf courses, schools and community centres. During CPKC Women’s Open tournament week, First Tee – BC and Musqueam Golf and Learning Academy hosted over 40 Indigenous youth for a clinic including special guest Rose Zhang. Additionally, over 200 Indigenous youth recently participated in First Tee programming during the Hope and Health Sports Day.
First Tee – Prairies wrapped up its first summer of programming. The team will continue to engage with key Indigenous leaders to begin offering programming in several Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
First Tee – Ontario has developed strong relationships with and engaged many participants from Indigenous communities across the province. These groups include the Indigenous Sport & Wellness, Anishnabeg Outreach, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory as well as both the Niagara and Fort Erie Native Friendship Centres.
First Tee – Premier départ Québec collaborates with the Mohawk community of Kahnawake, the Cree community of Waskaganish, and the First Nation of Mashteuiatsh through golf course, school, and community programming. The chapter also works closely with the Club 24 Athletics Foundation, an organization that works to support young Indigenous leaders through sport and education.
The Kahnawake First Nations reserve has seven golf courses. First Tee – Premier départ Québec has collaborated with the community to introduce golf to children who have previously only had access to lacrosse and hockey. In addition, programming will be provided at no cost to participants and with an entirely Indigenous coaching staff.
First Tee – Atlantic currently has two key partnerships with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and Wagmatcook First Nation to provide youth in these communities with access to First Tee at golf courses and at the community level. Mill River Resort, a First Tee – Atlantic program location in PEI also recently held a golf clinic for Indigenous Youth from Lennox Island.
First Tee – Canada
Golf Canada is fortunate to have received $60K in grant funding from Sport Canada to launch all three First Tee program settings (golf course, school & community centre) within three Indigenous communities in 2023/2024. Chapter staff have identified two communities in Nova Scotia and Ontario and have begun outreach to offer programming.
Our continued focus is to foster partnerships with community organizations, volunteers and youth leaders to create accessible pathways for golf participation and provide support for equity-deserving groups in communities across Canada.
To learn more, please reach out to [email protected].