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Indigenous Snowboard Program

Engaging our Indigenous youth through snowboarding, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle.


First Nations Snowboard Association
This winter, Canada~Snowboard will be partnering with the
First Nations Snowboard Association to deliver the Aboriginal Snowboard Program (ASP) across Canada.

The First Nations Snowboard Team (FNST) is the only organization of its kind operated
entirely by First Nation snowboarders. Their mission is "To improve the quality of life and empower Aboriginal youth across Canada by using the winter sport of snowboarding as a fundamental tool for excellence."

Photo Credit: www.xgames.com

Spencer O’Brien is a Canadian Olympic snowboarder who competes in Slopestyle. A Six-time Winter X Games medallist including the 2016 Gold medal in Slopestyle, Spencer has won gold at the 2013 FIS World Championships and also claimed the 2012 World Snowboarding Championships.

From the time I began snowboarding at age 11, I have loved the sport. In the beginning it was just a hobby that I did on the weekends with my family, but as the years went on I realized how deep of a passion I had for it. As I grew into the sport, snowboarding gave me a platform upon which I could push myself and test the limits of my capabilities. In the 17 years since I started, I have participated in competitions around the world. I represented Canada in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, was awarded the gold medal at the 2016 X Games and was crowned World Champion twice. So many of these accomplishments were possible because of sport organizations like Canada Snowboard being inclusive of my participation as an Aboriginal athlete.

I belong to the Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw Nation, and I am one of only a handful of Olympians who come from Canadian First Nations. I am proud of my heritage and where I come from and I know there are so many more incredible aboriginal athletes who just need to be given a chance, an opportunity. I strongly believe that more work needs to be done by sport organizations across Canada to ensure Aboriginal athletes have the opportunity to participate in the sports they love. Whether that participation leads to a pursuit of excellence in their given sport or just the desire to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. A great example of this is the Canada Snowboard Aboriginal Snowboard program delivered in Partnership with the First Nations Snowboard Association.

Further, I encourage all sport leaders to read the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway Sport Organization Guide and take action to ensure their organizations are considerate of participation of Aboriginal athletes at all levels.



For more information on this program, please contact Canada Snowboard: indigenous@canadasnowboard.ca 

Featured Video

Teenage Snowboarder Reconnects With First Nations' Culture

Canada’s First Nations Snowboard Team sponsors young Indigenous athletes. Team member Jonny Williams uses the sport to connect more deeply with his land and culture. Video by Grain Media

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