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The Maskwacis dancers participate in the grand entry during the WIN Games opening ceremonies at the Ermineskin powwow grounds on Monday night. (Roberta Bell/CBC) ​When Flora Northwest heads out her front door and into her community of Maskwacis, she’s overwhelmed by a sense of pride.

"Pride of who I am, of who we are as First Nations," explained the Samson Cree Nation elder, who has been volunteering with the World Nations (WIN) Games, which are being hosted, in part, by her reserve south of Edmonton.

More than 1,500 Indigenous athletes from around the world are staying in teepee villages in Maskwacis (which includes the Samson Cree Nation, Ermineskin Cree Nation, Montana and Louis Bull First Nation) and the Enoch Cree Nation.

Between July 2 and 9, they’re competing in a variety of events, from archery to basketball, soccer to log races. Elder Flora Northwest of the Samson Cree Nation says shes proud to be a part of host community. (John Robertson/CBC) "This is what our ancestors left us with; the teepees, the traditions, the ceremonies, the culture," Northwest said. ‘Huge change of plans’

It’s a sentiment echoed by Brittany McMaster of the Montana First Nation. Like Northwest, she’s one of the hundreds of local Indigenous people helping out.

"It’s been crazy," McMaster said, citing the "huge change of plans" to hold events on the First Nations instead of in Edmonton.

"Everyone was really on board and came together as a big team and pulled this together," she added.

Tony Alexis of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation said his reserve offered to host the canoeing on Lake Wakamne, also known as Lac St. Anne.He said while there was a lot of lobbying of government and local institutions for financial help, in the end the resources weren’t there."The communities, they were always willing," […]

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