The B.C. government is investing $198,000 to expand the Indigenous Sport Gallery at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame into an interactive online experience.

Provincial officials said it will allow the powerful history of Indigenous athletes, coaches and builders to be accessed across the province in communities and classrooms.

“Bringing the stories of these historic Indigenous leaders, coaches and athletes online works to honour their important legacy and inspire future generations of Indigenous athletes,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action No. 87 is to tell the national story of Indigenous athletes in history. This project is reconciliation in action and shows the power of partnership and paddling together.”

According to B.C. government officials,  the project will be guided by an Indigenous designer and cultural ambassador to make sure the content is authentically transformed into an online version.

“This project will continue ongoing efforts to celebrate Indigenous sport together and honour the stories of Indigenous athletes,” said Lara Mussell-Savage, chair, education committee at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and Chief of the Skwah First Nation.

“On behalf of the board of trustees at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame, we are tremendously grateful to the Province for this vital support that will bring to life this new dynamic dimension of the gallery and help us to reach a broader audience beyond the physical walls of the gallery.”

Provincial officials said the gallery is the largest known permanent gallery in the world dedicated to Indigenous sport.

It was established in 2018 and features more than 40 past and active Indigenous athletes, including Terry Fox, Jack Poole and Richard Peter.

The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2023.