BC to hold first Indigenous Championship
British Columbia Golf, in partnership with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia and the Osoyoos Indian Band owned Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course, have announced the launch of the inaugural Indigenous Championship British Columbia.
BC golfers who identify as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit will have the opportunity to register for the championship starting March 1st. The event will see 128 men, women, and youth compete and play together in an event which will be both competitive and fun.
BC Golf is thrilled to convene a championship that will both celebrate and inspire current and emerging Indigenous Golfers in the spirit of sport. “I am thrilled to see this event come to fruition, and am honored to be a part of this inaugural competition as chairwoman.
“As a competitive golfer and Indigenous woman, I am looking very much forward to the blending of competition and reconciliation at the same event,” said Christina Proteau, chair of the organizing committee. “I am proud to be working towards the goals outlined in UNDRIP where our event will promote Indigenous engagement in competitive golf.”
The championship has long been a dream of former Chair of BC Golf, T’esots’en (Patrick Kelly), who says, “The championship provides an exciting opportunity for Indigenous golfers to walk together in the joy of sport, camaraderie, and oh yes, a bit of spirited competition! The first Indigenous Championship British Columbia promises to be the start of a fun new annual sporting tradition to celebrate the best of Indigenous golfers at all levels. Come and be part of the start of a new legacy in sport.”
“To be the patron of this tournament, alongside the first Indigenous Lieutenant Governor, Steven Point, is an absolute honor,” said the Honorable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. “It is so important on the journey of reconciliation that there be opportunities like this, for a distinct tournament to celebrate excellence in sport by Indigenous golfers and to create pathways for greater involvement, representation, and participation of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people equally on all fields of play.”
The championship will begin with an official practice round on May 28th and end on May 30th after 36 holes played over two days. Hopeful participants have until April 28th to register. Champions will be crowned in five categories; Men’s & Women’s gross, Men’s & Women’s net Stableford and a Youth (under 19) division.
As identified by the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC), the Youth division will serve as final qualifying for golfers under 19 years of age who are vying to represent BC at the 2023 North American Indigenous Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia, July 2023.
Nestled in the breathtaking hills of Osoyoos, the Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course owned and operated by the Osoyoos Indian Band will play host to the championship. “Our team at Nk’mip Canyon would like to express our thanks and gratitude to everyone involved in bringing such a great event to Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course. We feel extremely honored and proud to be the first in B.C. to host such a prestigious event as the Indigenous Championship British Columbia.
“We are hopeful that this event will provide many great memorable moments for all who participate, whether they compete, organize or volunteer. I’m confident that our team at Nk’Mip Canyon will do everything they can to make sure every experience is a great one, not only for us and the competitors, but for your team of organizers as well. Lim Limpt (Thank You!),” said Nk’Mip General Manager and Osoyoos Band Member Dave George.
Last year, Golf Ontario hosted their inaugural Indigenous Golf Championship and will host their second championship later this summer. The Ontario and British Columbia events will each qualify golfers to compete in a national event to take place in the Fall of 2023 at Bear Mountain Resort in Langford, B.C.
Renowned Musqueam Nation artist, Susan Point, has been commissioned to produce the trophies for the Indigenous Championship British Columbia, one for the women’s champion and one for the men’s champion. This complements the BC Golf Championship medals that were produced by Haida Nation artist Ron Russ.
For more information and registration, please visit britishcolumbiagolf.org.
Jerome Goddard – Tournament Director
Director of Communications and Programmes
Office of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia
Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course
Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (I·SPARC)