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Jocabed Solano will be competing at the World Games for the Panama soccer team. (Sam Martin/CBC News) Athletes from around the world have started to arrive in Alberta to take part in the World Indigenous Games, a celebration of Indigenous culture and sport, that gets underway July 2.

Twenty-nine countries are expected to take part including New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Nicaragua.

A delegation from Panama was one of the first to arrive on Wednesday.

"We are very excited because we are coming together with different nations around the world," said Jocabed Solano, who plays on Panama’s soccer team.

Events are taking place in Maskwacis and at the Enoch Cree, Alexis Nakota Sioux and Paul First Nations.

Athletes will compete in soccer, basketball, swimming and lacrosse. Non-competitive sports such as archery, spear-throwing and traditional hand games also part of the line-up. Pablo Green said delegates from Panama will meet with other Indigenous leaders to discuss issues such as climate change. (Sam Martin/CBC News) Athletes can participate in social forums, youth conferences and the sharing of traditional foods.

Solano, 25, said the games is all about uniting people.

"It’s not just to play," she said. "We are coming together to learn more about other cultures, about the lands and about justice."Pablo Green, president of the Panama team, said the event gives Indigenous leaders a chance to share ideas."We are having meetings with different nations and are trying to make a plan on how we can stay together because we have similar struggles and problems in our lands," Green said.Climate change will be a main topic of discussion, he said. The first World Indigenous Games took place in Brazil in 2015. (World Indigenous Games) With as many as 2,000 athletes expected to take part, dorms are being set up in the schools at Enoch and Maskwacis.There’s a […]

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