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2023 North American Indigenous Games to use advanced mapping technology

NAIG Host Society streamlines planning and management of largest Indigenous youth sporting event in Atlantic Canada’s history with mapping support from Esri Canada

KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX)—July 6, 2023— Preparation for the 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG), set to take place from July 15 - 23 in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia, has been on a winning track with the help of geographic information systems (GIS) to streamline event planning and operations. The NAIG Host Society is collaborating with GIS provider Esri Canada to visualize, analyze and share information related to the Games using advanced mapping technology.

"Planning an event the size of the North American Indigenous Games takes a significant amount of time and attention to detail," said Brendon Smithson, CEO, NAIG 2023 Host Society. "We're grateful to our partnership with Esri in supporting us with a tool that has improved our planning and is helping us deliver a successful Games." 

NAIG 2023 will bring together more than 5,000 Indigenous youth athletes, coaches and team staff from 756+ Indigenous Nations across Turtle Island (North America) to compete in 16 different sports, including three traditional Indigenous sports—canoe/kayak, lacrosse and 3D archery. The sporting events will take place within 21 venues across Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Dartmouth and Millbrook First Nation. As the largest celebration of Indigenous sport and culture in Atlantic Canada since contact, NAIG 2023 requires massive coordination.  

“We’re pleased to collaborate with NAIG on enhancing planning and real-time operations across this large-scale, historic event using GIS,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “We’re excited to help increase awareness of the rich cultural heritage and sports of Indigenous communities in North America through interactive maps.”

The NAIG Host Society and Esri Canada have collaborated on several web GIS apps for use by staff and volunteers that replace traditional paper-based processes. The apps are helping improve several areas of the Games, including:

  • Venue planning and mapping – for connecting all venues and identifying specific stations within each venue, such as medical and security stations.
  • Venue materials inventory – for capturing materials (e.g., tables, chairs) within each venue.
  • Motor pool dispatch – for coordinating rides to the Games for delegates.
  • Pageantry and signage mapping – for planning game-specific wayfinding, information and sponsorship sign placement around the venues.

NAIG is also leveraging reality capture technology by engineering consultant firm EastPoint. Using the latest 3D laser scanning technology, building information modelling (BIM) software and technical resources, EastPoint captured digital floor plans of the sports venues to give users of the apps accurate representations of their surroundings.

Watch the video and explore NAIG 2023 via this story map

Learn more about GIS technology and Esri Canada’s work with Indigenous communities.

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About NAIG 2023
The 2023 North American Indigenous Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia since contact. From July 15 to 23, 2023, more than 5,000 athletes, coaches and officials from over 756 Nations from across Turtle Island will participate in more than 16 sports, attracting thousands of visitors, VIPs, officials and media. For more information, visit

About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 15 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2019, Esri Canada achieved Platinum Club status with the Canada's Best Managed Companies program by retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years or more. More information can be found at Follow Esri Canada on TwitterFacebookYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn.

Resources for media: Download video and images

Media Contacts:

Zane Sylliboy
Media & Communications Coordinator

Esri Canada
Joy Chan
Manager, Marketing Communications