This is a compilation of resources with considerations and best practices for engaging and supporting Indigenous peoples, newcomers to Canada, and individuals with disabilities to be more physically active with sport and recreation organizations. The resources are a starting point for individuals or organizations that are looking to be more inclusive.


This list of resources will be updated as needed. If there are resources that you know about that may be missing from this list, please contact us at  


Resource on Belonging:

Sport and Belonging - Vital Signs

“Community Foundations of Canada and the True Sport Foundation release an in-depth report that explores the role of sport in building belonging in our communities.”

* Good source for considering why inclusion is important generally, leading into more specific factors for Indigenous peoples, newcomers to Canada, and people with disabilities.


Resources on Indigenous Peoples in Canada:

Diversity and Inclusion Infographic Series - Special Olympics Canada

“In the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, Special Olympics Canada committed to focusing on long-lasting organizational change that goes beyond simply changing the face of the organization on the surface, by ensuring that diversity and inclusion are intertwined through a number of initiatives, and strategic goals.”

* Pages 4-5 focus specifically on considerations for engaging First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit Communities

Aboriginal Coaching Modules - Coaching Association of Canada

“The professional development of Aboriginal coaching modules through NCCP certification has been identified by the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC) as a national priority. To educate and promote the value of the NCCP and to establish meaningful participation of Aboriginal peoples in this national program, the ASC embarked on a multi-year process to develop supplemental training material for Aboriginal coaches taking NCCP workshops.”

Indigenous Long-Term Participant Development Pathway - Sport Organization Guide - Sport for Life & Aboriginal Sport Circle

“This guide will give sport organizations an appreciation for and the knowledge to maximize collaboration with the Indigenous sport system, as well as provide the steps to map out how the mainstream sport system can support Indigenous athletes as they move between systems. By using this guide, sport organizations will improve the quality of the sporting experience for Indigenous athletes. By improving their experiences, sport organizations will benefit from enhanced capacity through mutually beneficial partnerships with Indigenous sport leadership, increased athlete and coach participation, and potential increases in podium performances.”

Indigenous Long–Term Participant Development Pathway (2019) - Sport for Life

“This document presents a roadmap for developing sport and physical activity among Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Long-Term Participant Development Pathway is a reference for those who work with Indigenous participants in sport and recreation. It has grown out of the understanding that mainstream models for sport development do not necessarily align with Indigenous needs or experiences. As such, this document tries to address that gap by outlining the key elements that need to be considered when planning, developing, and implementing programs for and with Indigenous peoples and communities.”

Aboriginal Sport Circle - Website

“Canada’s national voice for Aboriginal sport, physical activity and recreation bringing together the interests of First Nations, Inuit & Métis peoples”

Community Based Sport Research with Indigenous Youth (2015) - Dr. Tara-Leigh F. McHugh, Dr. Nicholas, L. Holt, & Dr. Chris Andersen

“There is a critical need to better understand how to improve sports participation among Indigenous youth and how to provide sports opportunities in ways that positively contribute to health and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to describe our attempts to deeply involve Indigenous youth in sport research through a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Furthermore, the results of our research have provided an in-depth view of the experiences and meanings of sport for Indigenous youth, and have contributed to the promotion of understanding of the necessary processes that are fundamental for participation in sports research. corresponding and respectful of Indigenous youth.”


Resources on Newcomers to Canada:

Sport for Life for All Newcomers to Canada - Sport for Life

“The resource outlines the barriers that newcomers may face in their participation of sport and physical activity, and then provides examples of solutions and opportunities that exist, as well as promising practices of work being done across Canada.”

Welcome to Canada: Engaging Newcomers in Sport and Physical Activity - Sport for Life

Online Course

“Newcomers to Canada require an individualized approach to enhance their own level of physical literacy through quality, stage-appropriate experiences. This course explores the barriers newcomers face to participation and solutions to address those barriers.”

Playing Together: New Citizens, Sports & Belonging - Institute for Canadian Citizenship

Playing Together – New Citizens, Sports & Belonging tells the story of sports as an effective means to help new Canadians feel at home. The insights of more than 4,000 new citizens – delivered via an online survey and nationwide focus groups – tell the tale of becoming Canadian, in part, by playing and watching sports together.”

“Community Cup, we are a big family”: Examining social inclusion and acculturation of Newcomers to Canada through a participatory Sport event - Dr. Kyle A. Rich, Dr. Laura Misener, & Dan Dubeau

“In this paper, we discuss the Community Cup program, and specifically a participatory sport event which seeks to connect newcomers to Canada (recent immigrants and refugees) in order to build capacity, connect communities, and facilitate further avenues to participation in community life.”

Engaging Newcomers in Canadian Programs - Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association – Christian Bates-Hardy

“Many community groups are looking to reach out to newcomers in their areas and searching for advice on how to connect with them and make current programs more culturally inclusive. The following are some tips or guidelines suggested by the Regina Open Door Society’s Community Connection Program.”

Newcomer Engagement and Inclusion - Soccer Saskatchewan

“This guide is designed to give the reader ideas of how to create an inclusive and welcoming space through soccer. The ideas put forth are set up in a way to inspire a collective response in increasing active involvement and participation of newcomers in sports. In order to be successful in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment, one has to understand what is meant by inclusivity.” 

Resources on People with Disabilities:

Becoming Para Ready (2020) - Jessica Ferguson and Dr. Tim Konoval


“The Becoming Para Ready resource has been developed as an introductory technical guide to provide coaches and club administrators with knowledge, confidence, and tools to be more proactive – or “ready” – for integration, and to introduce the ways integration can be implemented. “Para Ready” means clubs are prepared to support athletes experiencing disability in some way, by either providing programming or connecting to those that do.”

But is it truly inclusive? What people with disabilities want to know before participating in your program (2019) - Dr. Tim Konoval

“It can be incredibly difficult for PwD to get involved in sport and recreation programming when they not aware of programs they can participate in. Of course, this is nothing new as Canada’s Sport for Life Society made awareness a key stage in their long term sport development model years ago. While their checklist provides a quick reference of awareness producing ideas, this blog will build on this list by bringing in new research findings from a joint research initiative between the University of British Columbia and viaSport BC.”

NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability

“NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability is an eLearning module to diversify your coaching portfolio. The module provides the knowledge to deliver quality, positive sport experiences for athletes, specifically those with behavioural, intellectual, physical, and sensory disabilities. NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability is a resource for coaches who are new to coaching athletes with a disability. Many coaches who are already working with athletes with a disability will also find the module useful.”

Activity Alliance Engaging Disabled People in Sport and Active Recreation - Activity Alliance

“Activity Alliance enables organisations to support disabled individuals to be and stay active. With approximately 11.5 million disabled people in England (one in five of our population), disabled people are a large proportion of your potential audience. This animation bring the principles of engaging disabled people in sport and active recreation to life in an informative film.”

Talk to me: 10 Principles - Activity Alliance - video - in writing

“Activity Alliance, supported by Sport England, has released the Ten Principles film to guide providers to deliver more appealing and inclusive opportunities. If embedded within planning and delivery, the principles can be the vital ingredient for delivering activities that will support disabled people to be and stay active for life.”

Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability (last updated 2017) Government of Canada

“The Policy on Sport for Persons with a Disability provides a framework for engaging partners and stakeholders in initiating changes that aim to reduce and ultimately eliminate sport-specific barriers that prevent persons with a disability from participating in sport. At the same time, the Policy addresses some of the environmental, structural, systemic, social and personal barriers that keep many persons with a disability from being full participants in Canadian society."

Canadian Practices in Inclusive Recreation. Inclusion and Access for Canadians with Disabilities. - Dr. Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Roxy Helliker O’Rourke, & Christa Costas-Bradstreet

“This report profiles and showcases some current promising practices in the provinces and territories that address the framework goal of inclusion and access in relation to persons with disabilities. The intent is to share knowledge and practical examples of policies, programs and practices, and to encourage continued growth in inclusion and access in recreation for persons with disabilities across Canada.”