Meet Debwe: The One Who Speaks The Truth


Debwe, the mascot for the North American Indigenous Games

In 2017, the North American Indigenous Games welcomed a new mascot to help represent the event, Debwe.

Pronounced DAY-BH-WAY, from the Anishinaabe language, Debwe means “the one who speaks the truth.”

A turtle, Debwe was the artistic creation of a 14-year-old named Anton, from Deer Lake First Nation in Ontario, a remote Northern community of just over 1000 residents.

Chosen to represent the life lessons and valuable experiences youth have through participation in sport, the turtle is also a core component of creation stories for many Indigenous Nations in Central and Eastern Canada.

Held every three years, the XI North American Indigenous Games were scheduled for this summer in Nova Scotia, but were postponed due to COVID-19.

The North American Indigenous Games welcome over 5000 athletes from 13 provinces and territories in Canada and 13 regions in the United States to compete.

The Games are recognized in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call To Action #88.

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