A Comparison of Indigenous Sport for Development Policy Directives in Canada and Australia

  • Kevin J Gardam Lakehead University
  • Audrey R Giles University of Ottawa
  • Steven Rynne The University of Queensland
  • Lyndsay M.C Hayhurst York University
Keywords: Sport for Development, Sport Policy, Governance, Indigenous Communities


In this study, we employ Bacchi’s (2012) “What’s the Problem Represented to be” approach to guide our discourse analysis of federal Indigenous sport for development (SFD) policies in Canada and Australia.  Through a review of government policies and reports, we highlight the often-divergent policy directives set out by federal departments in these two countries.  Namely, inter-departmental partnerships in areas such as health, education, and justice fail to be adequately facilitated through SFD policies in Canada, while, conversely, Australia has strived towards greater federal partnership building.  Within the identified Canadian and Australian policies, both countries consistently produced sport as having the potential to contribute to Indigenous peoples’ social and economic development, thus highlighting the growing institutional support behind Indigenous SFD.  This policy analysis research provides a novel contribution to the overall growing body of literature investigating the politics of partnership building in SFD initiatives. 

Author Biographies

Kevin J Gardam, Lakehead University
Graduate Student, Department of Health Sciences
Audrey R Giles, University of Ottawa
Professor, School of Human Kinetics
Steven Rynne, The University of Queensland
Senior Lecturer, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Lyndsay M.C Hayhurst, York University
Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology and Health Science