#TRC90: Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway: How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway?
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Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway: How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway?
On December 15, 2015 Justice Murray Sinclair released The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report to the public. In his report was a “Sports and Reconciliation” section that had five “Calls to Action” for the federal government to implement. The Canadian Heritage department manages Sport Canada which works with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Multisport Service Organizations (MSO), National Sport Organizations (NSO), Canadian Sport Centres (CSC) and other organizations. The Sports and Reconciliation Calls to Action are Number 87 through 91. The purpose of this study is to explain How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway?
I recognize that the Athabasca University Review Board is not reviewing or approving this research. This study is simply to meet course requirements.
In Canada, we would begin what is known as the ‘Truth and Reconciliation Era’ (TRC Era) when in 2008, a Commission began recording the stories of “survivors” of the Canadian Indian Residential School system. Seven years later on December 15, 2015 Justice Murray Sinclair released The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report to the public  - which included 94 “Calls to Action” for the government to implement. In the Murray Sinclair TRC report was a “Sports and Reconciliation” section with five “Calls to Action” (#87-91) .
Less than 45 days after the calls to Action were released. On January 27, 2016 CBC reports that the Aboriginal Sport Circle has a “New guide [that] shows indigenous people’s path to sport, a’ lifelong’ activity: Olympian Alwyn Morris behind online resource aiming to bring aboriginal, non-aboriginal athletes together”. In an effort to create more elite Indigenous athletes, the Sport for Life Society, in conjunction with Aboriginal Sport Circle, created the “Aboriginal Long-Term Participation Development Pathway”. A programming support for “long-term indigenous athlete development” that is the adaptation of the Sport for Life’s “Long-Term Athlete Development” philosophy - which mainstream National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada have adopted since 2004.
This research allowed me to satisfy my curiosity and see how the Sport for Life Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway is doing since its announcement in 2016. I now have a better understanding of where things are at. This research project allowed me to develop methods that can be used in future studies.
I believe my research provides new insights into this topic of Indigenous Sport. The adapted LTAD resource is a Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action solution the government has identified (TRC #90) as a “completed item” on their TRC Calls to Actions. This study may be of interest and use to politicians, academics, Indigenous people of Canada or anyone else concerned about whether or not progress has been made in this area. Specifically my research focuses on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #90
TRC #90. We call upon the federal government to ensure that national sports policies, programs, and initiatives are inclusive of Aboriginal peoples, including, but not limited to, establishing:
In collaboration with provincial and territorial governments, stable funding for, and access to, community sports programs that reflect the diverse cultures and traditional sporting activities of Aboriginal peoples.
An elite athlete development program for Aboriginal athletes.
Programs for coaches, trainers, and sports officials that are culturally relevant for Aboriginal peoples
Anti-racism awareness and training programs.
The Government of Canada responded to TRC Calls to Action #88 “We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.” by providing the funds to develop TRC Calls to Action #90.
On their website, the Government of Canada writes “Budget 2017 announced investments of $18.9 million over 5 years, starting in fiscal year 2017 to 2018, and ongoing funding of $5.5 million every 4 years thereafter, to support Indigenous youth through sport initiatives.” The government specifically states that some of the money is intended for “national sport organizations [NSO] and multisport service organizations [MSO] to ensure long-term indigenous athlete development and growth through increasing the offering of culturally relevant sport programming”.
Research Question: Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway: How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway?
Research Methods: In the case of this study, the Multisport Sport Organizations (MSO) is a) the Sport for Life Society and b) the Aboriginal Sport Circle. These two MSO’s have created a PDF document called the Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway. By doing an exploratory study, I will be able to build on this literature review that examines the implementation of the mainstream sport use of the Sport for Life’s Long-Term Athlete Development philosophy.
As a researcher I believe I am breaking new ground as there are no academic papers available on the Sport for Life Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway. However, this Long-Term Athlete Development Pathway philosophy is not new to non-indigenous people and as a result there are a number of Academic papers on the topic in many different sports. In my Literature review I identified a number of critics on the implementation of the Long-Term Athlete Development philosophy including Dr. Rushall who writes that “The LTAD content discussed in the various articles is largely unscientific and non-reviewed. Much smacks of sporting "folk lore" (hereafter referred to as "lore"), a compendium of beliefs unfounded in fact, and puzzling logic.”. Rushall uses his paper to dismiss the sport sciences used in the Long-Term Athlete Development calling it a “pseudo-science” and “at best, baffling” .
CBC further reports that Morris states "We're hoping that it's going to help bring both the aboriginal sports stream and the non-aboriginal sports stream together. To start to work together in providing opportunities for aboriginal communities and aboriginal participants at large, both on reserve and in the urban centres," .
Three years after the TRC Calls to Action #90 were marked completed by the Government of Canada, it would be interesting to know How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada are implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway.
This study aims to focus on How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implement the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway. On the release of the TRC Calls to Action, The Globe and Mail reported the same day that the Government of Canada’s “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will develop a blueprint for national reconciliation with indigenous peoples”  (Dec. 15, 2015).
To implement a Trudeau Blueprint in the Sports and Reconciliation section of the TRC Calls to Action, The Prime Minister will assign it to a branch of The Canadian Heritage Department  which manages Sport Canada. They will need to work with its partners, including provincial and territorial governments (PSO), Multisport Service Organizations (MSO), National Sport Organizations (NSO), Canadian Sport Centres (CSC) and other organizations to deliver the solutions for the TRC Calls to Action #87-91.
1. The Long-Term Athlete Development Canada: Attempting System Change and Multi-Agency Cooperation by: Norris, Stephen R. is a synopsis published in Current Sports Medicine Reports (American College of Sports Medicine) , Nov/Dec2010, Vol. 9 Issue 6, p379-382, 4p. Publisher: American College of Sports Medicine., Database: Supplemental Index.
In this paper, Dr. Norris did not disclaim his affiliation with the Sport for Life Society. Dr. Norris states that “In Canada, LTAD clearly is tied to a philosophy that spans a broad narrative from healthy active lives to elite sport performance.”. Imagine we are talking about a pathway of steps one takes throughout their lifetime as the philosophy states from “cradle to grave”. The idea is, if you do not become an Elite (Olympic) Athlete, at least you have the fundamentals to be a healthy person. However after 15 years in the marketplace, there is no longitudinal study to determine if this philosophy works or not. The writer claims success with the program in that “as of January 2010, 35 National Sport Organizations had completed their sport specific LTAD guides, and another 7 were close to completion.”. - “After close to 6 years of activity, the CS4L has colossal momentum, but the surface of what is truly possible has only just been scratched.”. When you consider there are 58 National Sport Organizations, we are talking about a 53% success rate of implementation. However, there is no Quantitative data on exactly how that implementation looks. A view that is echoed by Shane Peterson, VP of BMX at Alberta Bicycle Association since 2008. He tweets on twitter “Implementing / integrating the NSO LTAD into the coaching training program is proving more difficult than first thought.”. Norris continues to write that “the essential vision of this policy is for Canada to have (by 2012) "a dynamic and leading-edge sport environment that enables all Canadians to experience and enjoy involvement in sport to the extent of their abilities and interests and, for increasing numbers, to perform consistently and successfully at the highest competitive levels."
The LTAD Philosophy is built on “four pillars” which includes “participation, excellence, capacity, and interaction”.
2. The implementation of LTAD as a template to improve youth participation in physical activity and sport. Introducing change in a sport organization. By: Lachance, A. Science & Sports. Oct2014 Supplement, Vol. 29, pS37-S38. 1p. DOI: 10.1016/j.scispo.2014.08.073. , Database: Academic Search Complete
Unlike Dr. Norris, the writer Lachance, who authored the second academic paper does add the disclaimer of their affiliation to the Sport for Life Society, Canada. However, this paper isn’t supported with scientific research, but rather serves as a presentation that “will look at the important aspects of implementing change in an organization using a step by step approach including: enhancing your knowledge of LTAD; identify and empower more champions; provide a reality check; create and share your vision; gain organizational support; and communicate progress.” .
3. Coaches’ Adoption and Implementation of Sport Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development Model. By: Charlotte Beaudoin; Bettina Callary; François Trudeau. In: SAGE Open, Vol 5, Iss 3 (2015); SAGE Publishing, 2015. Language: English, Database: Directory of Open Access Journals
In this third academic paper, the writer Beaudoin adds the conflict of interest that her research paper was funded by Sport Canada Research Initiative and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Sport Canada also funds the Sport for Life Society Long-Term Athlete Development philosophy. This comprehensive study attempts “to explore how Canadian coaches adopted or implemented Sport Canada’s LTAD model and to understand the barriers they perceived in adopting and implementing it.” . It does this by calling the LTAD a “social innovation” based on Rogers’s (2003) theoretical framework.
The writer believes that there are “relative advantages of LTAD. LTAD was the first athlete development model officially adopted in Canadian sport as part of a policy. Thus, LTAD itself does not replace an existing model.” . However, this is incorrect as pointed out by Dr. Rushall in his paper; Interpreting and Implementing the Long Term Athlete Development Model, where he writes “Canada has had a penchant for developing government centered control models for sports (e.g., the belated and ill fated Game Plan '76; the institution of coaching certification of various levels of expertise and generality/specificity; the advocacy of administrative tools that required at least quadrennial plans for sports at the provincial and national levels (starting in the late 1970s); and this latest machination – the LTAD). Canada's failure to recapture its era of accomplishment (1978-1984) through governmental "guidance" (a requirement for funding) casts doubt on the value of such enterprises.”.
The writer attempts to add legitimacy to the Sport for Life Society Long-Term Athlete Development through a “values” based system as opposed to scientific sport science evidence. Although the writer does acknowledge “that the LTAD model could provide a common vocabulary for coaches and emphasize the importance of teaching fundamental skills, Martindale, Collins, Beaudoin et al. 15 and Daubney (2005) raised concerns regarding its scientific merit in a study of the LTAD implementation in the United Kingdom. ”.
The writer concludes that the “barriers hindering LTAD implementation included (a) lack of organizational support regarding implementation of the model, (b) shortage of evidence-based research on the model, and (c) complexity of the model when viewed in its entirety, and the difficulty in getting all sports persons involved in implementing the LTAD model’s recommendations.”.
4. Research Notes: Interpreting and Implementing the Long Term Athlete Development Model: English Swimming Coaches' Views on the (Swimming) LTAD in Practice: A Commentary. By Swimming Science Bulletin Number 38, Produced, edited and copyrighted by Professor Emeritus Brent S. Rushall, San Diego State University.
This final fourth academic paper is the only paper that has no affiliation to Sport Canada or the Sport for Life Society. It is also the only paper that is critical towards the LTAD Philosophy. Dr. Rushall writes that “The LTAD content discussed in the various articles is largely unscientific and nonreviewed. Much smacks of sporting "folk lore" (hereafter referred to as "lore"), a compendium of beliefs unfounded in fact, and puzzling logic.”. Rushall uses his paper to dismiss the sport sciences used in the Long-Term Athlete Development calling it a “pseudo-science” and “at best, baffling” .
According to Rushall the Sport for Life Society Long-Term Athlete Development philosophy is based on debunked sport sciences from the time period where the German easter bloc dominated the Olympic games. Rushall writes that “ The model is primarily the proposal of a single individual (Balyi, 1990). It is based on a mix of research, popular non refereed theories, and dogma associated with sports
training that has many roots in the bygone era of Eastern Bloc sports programs.” .
One thing is clear from my literature review that implementing the Sport for Life’s Long-Term Athlete Development in Mainstream sport is not easy or clear. Further after 15 years since its introduction, it claims only 55% success rate at implementation. And this is the solution the Government of Canada has provided to resolve the TRC Calls to Action #90.
As of 2018, Canada had a population of 37 Million.  In Canada the government has centric approach to sport. In the 2016 Canadian Census, the Indigenous population of Canada was 1,673,780 or 4.9% of the Canadian population. In Canada the Indigenous population is accounted by the combination of 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis, and 65,025 Inuit.  According to Stats Canada, 56% of Indigenous people live in urban areas. There are “600 First Nations/Indian bands in Canada and 3,100 Indian reserves across Canada” .
My research will not focus on Individuals or Groups, but rather Organizations as a unit of analysis. The individual non-profit corporations are characterized in terms of the Canadian Heritage Department Sport Canada’s list of National Sport Organizations (NSO) and Multi Sport Organizations (MSO). Specifically my research will focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #90.
The Government of Canada writes on their website that “National Sport Organizations (NSOs) - sometimes referred to as National Sport Federations (NSFs) - are the national governing bodies for any given sport in Canada”. On the government website they list 58 National Sport Organizations. These NSO’s can be organized into Summer and Winter Sports. Within the Summer Sports category, a North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) category can be created to identify summer sports that are included in the NAIG Games.
The Ideal sampling technique for this proposal is census sample as this study was drawn from the Government of Canada's National Sport Organizations list. The ideal sample size is the entire 58 National Sport Organizations identified by the Government of Canada. It is ideal, because this is the maximum amount that can be sampled, thus providing an accurate picture of the broadest range of the research.
The first thing I did was an observatory research in that I visited the website of each of the 58 National Sport Organizations and completed the following survey.
Once I completed the observatory research from the NSO website, I compiled the data for further analysis. In addition to the observatory research, I conducted a Census Survey Research by emailing a Questionnaire to the 57 National Sport Organizations (one website was down and not available). The Census Survey timeline for responses was a 3-week period between May 7, 2019 and May 28, 2019. The following Email was sent to the general inquiry website email address (25.5%), A website form that I copied and pasted the below email into (52.7%) or/and the CEO/President of the NSO (18.2%).
Sent from: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Jason Anson and I am a sociology student at Athabasca University who is completing a Social Research Project for my course SOSC 366 - Research Methods in the SOSC.
For this project, I have chosen the topic of Aboriginal Long-Term Development Pathway and specifically I am researching How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway?
I am hoping that either the person in charge of your Indigenous initiatives or the executive leader of your organization (ie. CEO/President) would be kind enough to participate in the Census Survey at: https://forms.gle/a9pSEX1PCacoHmkV7
The responses are being collected for 3-week period between May 7, 2019 and May 28, 2019. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions. Further, I would like to thank you for your participation.
Confidentiality of the Information Collected:
Anonymity: Anonymity is considered when no one can link the data with the data provider. As a result, because of the use of e-mails in the research design, the information provided could possibly be linked to the person or organization who sent it. I cannot guarantee anonymity. However, I can ensure confidentiality.
Confidentiality: In this research project participants have the right to privacy of their names, the maintenance of dignity and protection against harm. As a result, I can assure confidentiality to the actual person completing the questionnaire on behalf of the National Sport Organization.
From there a series of 15 questions were asked in the Census Survey in order to answer my research question, How are the National Sport Organizations (NSO) in Canada implementing the Sport for Life (MSO) Aboriginal Long-Term Participant Development Pathway? To create the below questionnaire, I used Quantitative and Qualitative methods For example, I created a Quantitative Questionnaire below.
This research project was a voluntary participation and consent. In this research project participants had the right to privacy of their names, the maintenance of dignity and protection against harm. As a result, I assured confidentiality to the actual person completing the questionnaire on behalf of the National Sport Organization. I could provide anonymity of the sport organizations’ name as it is required to compile the data. The main ethical issue with this study is that the Athabasca University Review Board is not reviewing or approving it. As a result, I have been turned down by perspective participants in a one-on-one interview for this study. Therefore it is important for the reader to understand that this study is mainly designed for the purpose of demonstrating what a social research study can look like. Prior to the taking the Census Survey and also in the introductory email above. The below disclaimer were made to all participants prior to commencing.
When I visited 58 National Sport Organizations, one of them had no website and one of their websites was under construction with no data available on it. In the end, I was able to visit 56 National Sport Organization website and record the following responses to the questions.
Out of the 56 National Sport Organizations observed, 62.5% were sports in the Summer Olympic Games, 19.6% were sports in the Winter Olympic Games and 17.9% were deemed other because they were not in the Olympic Games.