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The kickoff of the one of the world’s largest multi-sport events is about to begin. From July 10-26, the 2015 Pan Am Games will bring fans and athletes from around the world to Toronto.

And this years event features an Aboriginal Pavilion, which was designed to bring together Indigenous musicians and artists from across the Americas to celebrate the spirit of Indigenous communities. According to a news release, the staging of the Pavilion marks the first time in the history of the games that there has been a such strong showing of Aboriginal music, comedy, dance and multi-disciplinary arts during the games; it also signifies the first time in the game’s history that there is a host First Nation -- the Mississauga's of the New Credit First Nations.

More than 40 Indigenous musicians are scheduled to perform at Fort York’s Garrison Common, including A Tribe Called Red (ATRC); Nelson Tagoona, known for his throat-boxing skills; and the Cree Cabaret. And in addition to this lineup of talent, Nakotah LaRance (Tewa-Hopi-Assiniboine), the reigning 2015 Adult Hoop Dance Champion, will perform during the opening ceremonies games Friday. LaRance is a seven time World Hoop Dance Champion and Cirque Du Soleil star. Also, well-known comedic group the 1491s, and world champion Hoop Dancer Lisa Odjig will perform during the 17 days of entertainment, and this is just to name a few.

Bear from ATCR told The National Post that putting a spotlight on the Indigenous community is an opportunity to share their message with the rest of the world. “When you’re coming from a people who are underrepresented in the media, it’s really important to become visible,” Bear told the Post. “Not only that, but to portray ourselves in the way that we see ourselves, in a way that is true to us.” Bear explained that “just being a part of these things and being seen is the message.”

And what would the event be without athletics. More than 7,000 athletes from 41 countries are expected to participate in the Toronto Pan Am Games. The Sports Zone, part of the pavilion at the games, will feature notable Indigenous athletes like the Six Nations Lacrosse Team, and Johnny Issaluk, a traditional Inuit athlete, who was a 2012 Diamond Jubilee Medal Recipient. “These games helped my ancestors stay physically healthy and mentally strong,” he told CBC News. Issaluk will present a workshop demonstration on the Inuit Traditional Games. "I do a lot more than demonstrate,” he said, “I portray the beauties and the riches of our culture."

For a complete list of performances at the Aboriginal Pavilion, visit Alppavilion.ca. For more information about the Pan Am Games, click here.

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