Snuneymuxw selected to host B.C.’s largest youth basketball tournament

Apr. 13/22

We are proud to announce that the 2023 Junior All Native Tournament (JANT) will be hosted by Snuneymuxw First Nation and the Snuneymuxw Native Sons, taking place March 12 – March 17, 2023. We anticipate welcoming ninety basketball teams and thousands of young First Nation athletes, families, and loyal fans to Snuneymuxw. 


“It’s an honour to continue the legacy of this epic, high-energy tournament here on Snuneymuxw territory” said Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse. “We are deeply proud of our Snuneymuxw athletes. Their athletic careers are often foundations for a successful professional career, and we look forward to cheering on the next generation of leaders. All are welcome to join us and experience the power of this extraordinary event.”


The Tournament’s roots date back to 1947, with the first official All Native Basketball Tournament taking place in 1960. The largest youth basketball tournament in B.C. and one of the biggest in Canada, JANT begins with cultural performances at the opening ceremonies, followed by games and shooting contests. Snuneymuxw Native Sons took the title in 2015 and 2016 and placed 3rd in 2022 at the Sylix-hosted JANT in kiláwnaʔ Kelowna.


“I look forward to this event all year,” said Jayden Thomas, a Snuneymuxw Native Sons player who has competed at multiple JANTs. “The energy everyone brings to the tournament is awesome and unlike anything else. It’s also an opportunity to meet-up with old and new friends, celebrate our culture and our love of basketball.”


Snuneymuxw First Nation is proud to partner with the Kw’umut Lelum Foundation, City of Nanaimo, First Nation Health Authority, Nanaimo Hospitality Association, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, Nanaimo Tourism, and Vancouver Island University.


“Kw’umut Lelum Foundation invests in the limitless potential of Indigenous youth, and we are proud to include the 2023 Junior All Native Tournament as a beneficiary of the Foundation,” said Sharon Hobenshield, Executive Director, Kw’umut Lelum Foundation. “The Foundation is a charitable organization, CRA-registered, and will be accepting JANT-related donations and sponsorships on behalf of Snuneymuxw First Nation.”


“We know that JANT breathes life into the cities where it’s hosted,” said Leonard Krog, mayor, City of Nanaimo. “The opportunity to share our vibrant city with the JANT community is a privilege that we look forward to.”


“First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is a proud health and wellness partner with B.C. First Nations and stands with Snuneymuxw as they prepare to host JANT next year,” said Brennan MacDonald, Vice President of Regional Operations, FNHA. “We look forward to another amazing tournament and wish the players all the best for training season!”


“Nanaimo offers an array of lodgings, from elegant hotels to charming B&Bs to campgrounds surrounded by nature,” said Dan Grady, Executive Director, Nanaimo Hospitality Association. “We are particularly excited to host JANT visitors at the new 172-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel. The hotel is owned and managed in partnership with Snuneymuxw First Nation’s Petroglyph Development Group and opens this fall (2022).”

“Our partnership with Snuneymuxw remains a top priority for the school district,” said Charlene McKay, Board Chair, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. “We value the opportunity to provide support throughout JANT by sharing our gym spaces with these inspiring young athletes!”

“Nanaimo offers natural beauty at every turn, and vast sport and recreational opportunities,” said Jenn Houtby-Ferguson, Interim Executive Director, Tourism Nanaimo. “This is going to be a memorable event and one that we know will have a real, positive impact on local businesses and venues.”

“We believe that athletic experience is an integral part of the educational process,” said Deborah Saucier, President and Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University. “VIU is proud to be a venue for the JANT games and welcome students and families from across B.C.”