Emiigwed Shognosh-Diaz is an ambassador for the Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games and proud supporter of #Team88. He is too young to participate in 2017 NAIG but his role as ambassador enables him to share his love for sport and his pride in being a member of the Walpole First Nations community. More importantly, Emiigwed represents the future, the next generation that will not only wear #88 on its sleeve but carry the message of Team 88 in their hearts. Being an athlete has taught Emiigwed commitment, teamwork and pride for his community, values and lessons that are just as important on the field, as they are off the field.

One of the goals of the Team 88 legacy campaign is to tell the story of Indigenous athletes at the national level, showcasing the ‘real life’ role models and community heroes that are working hard and inspiring those around them.

Emiigwed believes that role models are important because they pass down knowledge and teach younger generations what they need to succeed. Hearing Indigenous athletes’ stories makes Emiigwed proud of his community and has inspired him to work hard to achieve his goals. Within Indigenous communities, an elder plays a pivatol role in knowledge transfer …

The North American Indigenous Games provides a platform for Indigenous youth from across North America to work towards a dream, it provides a sense of purpose and ignites endless hope. The Games are a movement, inspiring youth to adopt healthy, active lifestyles and a pride in who they are.

Emiigwed is determined and hopeful that he will get the opportunity to participate in the next NAIG and is working towards that goal. Participation in NAIG for Emiigwed is an opportunity to develop as an athlete, to share his culture and knowledge, and to learn from other Indigenous youth he will meet during competition; Emiigwed is certain that it will be an experience that will stay with him forever.