Coaching Association of Canada
Newton Twotongie - Aboriginal Apprentice Coach

The Aboriginal Apprentice Coach Program (AACP) is a partnership between the Aboriginal Sport Circle (ASC), Canada’s Provincial/Territorial Aboriginal Sport Bodies (PTASBs), Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representatives (PTCRs), the Canada Games Council (CGC), and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC). It provides the opportunity for each province and territory to send two (2) coaches of Aboriginal ancestry to the Canada Games in apprenticeship roles. In 2021, the Canada Summer Games will be held in Ontario’s Niagara region.

Objectives of the AACP

  • Build coaching capacity within Aboriginal communities 
  • Provide aboriginal apprentice coaches with domestic multi-sport games exposure
  • ProvideAboriginal apprentice coaches with professional development and learning opportunities to prepare them for high level coaching and ensure an increase in their level of NCCP certification to a minimum of Competition – Development, Trained. (Apprentices complete training within 12 months following the Games) 
  • Expose Aboriginal apprentice coaches to elite/high performance coaches; and
  • Ensure Aboriginal apprentice coaches are prepared to handle a meaningful role during the Canada Games experience

2021 Aboriginal Apprentice Coaches

The 2021 Aboriginal Apprentice Coaches are as follows:

Province / Territory Coach Name Sport
British Columbia Tewanee Joseph Lacrosse
  Michelle Webster Softball
Alberta Christine Reid Soccer
  Waylon Auger Volleyball
Saskatchewan Cory Gratton Volleyball
  Mandy Herman Wrestling
Manitoba Charisse Cyr Volleyball
  Keith Mason Basketball
Ontario Mekwan Tulpin Lacrosse
  Al Staats Softball
Quebec Otiohkwanoron Montour Wrestling
  Angel Robertson Wrestling
New Brunswick Cathy Ward Volleyball
Newfoundland & Labrador Zoe McDonald Wrestling
  Katie Gaudette Volleyball
Nova Scotia Aiyanna Empringham Basketball
  Shaniya Vance Volleyball
Prince Edward Island Richard Lush Athletics
Yukon Eric Porter Soccer
Nunavut Alayna Ningeongan Volleyball

Read the press release

Desired Outcomes

The desired, measurable outcomes are established in consultation of the PTCR, the CGC, the ASC, and the CAC, and are as follows:

  • The goal of the program is to have at least 50% of the quota allocations for aboriginal apprentice coaches in this program filled for the Canada Games
  • Two professional development workshops are conducted before the Canada Games
  • 100% attendance at professional development workshops
  • 100% of all apprentice coaches attending the Canada Games will have been NCCP-trained in the relevant context within one year following the Canada Games
  • 75% of all apprentice coaches attending the Canada Games will have been NCCP-certified in the relevant context within two years of attending the Canada Games
  • As a long-term objective, 100% of all apprentice coaches will continue to actively coach athletes at the community, provincial, territorial, or national level applying the experience gained from the Canada Games
  • 100% of apprentice coaches, mentor coaches, and Provincial/Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) in this program will complete a feedback survey
  • 100% of apprentice coaches, mentor coaches, and PTSOs in this program will positively evaluate the program and provide constructive criticism for the future of this program. 

Where required and/or requested PTASBs, PTCRs, and PTSOs will work collaboratively with each other to meet the desired outcomes of the programs.


Eligibility criteria for the AACP are:

  • Canadian citizen or landed immigrant status 
  • Aboriginal ancestry as defined by the Aboriginal Sport Circle: Anyone of First Nation (status and non-status Indian), Métis or Inuit ancestry
  • Coaching experience
  • Completed some form of NCCP training
  • Never attended a Canada Games as a “coach” in the sport they are applying to
  • Never attended the Olympic or Paralympic Games, Pan or Parapan American Games, or Commonwealth Games as a “coach”
  • Demonstrated potential through the development and improvement of their athletes or as seen by the PTSO or mentor coach
  • Not already selected to the coaching staff of a province/territory’s Canada Games coaching staff
  • Identified to have potential to influence, coach, and promote sport in their communities to increase quality coaching in aboriginal communities
  • Trained in the Aboriginal Coaching Module. Coaches who are not already trained in the modules may be admitted to the program, but will be required to complete the training before attending the Canada Games.

Any exceptions to the above eligibility requirements must be approved by the Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representative before a coach can be admitted into the AACP.

NCCP Requirements

The purpose of NCCP requirements is to ensure that the selection of apprentice coaches for the AACP are genuine apprentice coaches who will, through participation in the program, gain valuable experience that will contribute to the coach becoming a Canada Games coach in the future.

Based on the objectives and desired outcomes outlined above, the NCCP requirements for the AACP are:

  • “In Training” or “Trained” status in the NCCP Competition – Introduction context, “In Training” status in the Competition – Development context, or NCCP Level 1 Certified
  • Transitioning athletes are eligible to apply but NCCP training prior to the Games is a requirement
  • Coaches who are Level 3 Certified or NCCP Competition – Development Trained or Certified are not eligible for the program as these coaches have already obtained the necessary certification to coach at the Canada Games.

Any exceptions to NCCP requirements must be approved by the Provincial/Territorial Coaching Representative before a coach can be admitted into the AACP.

If you have any questions, please contact Craig MacDougall, CAC Indigenous Coach Education and Development Consultant.