Indigenous Peoples

Some differences between traditional games and gambling:

Traditional Games Gambling
Games establish connections and relationships between tribes and families. Gambling is usually an individual activity and is age restricted.
Games play a role in ceremonies and celebrations. Games are still used in ceremonies and celebrations; however when money is wagered, we risk losing the value and meaning of the ceremony or celebration.
Games teach skills of concentration and memory and develop physical stamina and ability. Most forms of gambling today do not involve skill and none develop physical stamina.
Games play with the concept of the trickster and promote laughter and lightheartedness. Because of the risk of losing money or other valuables, there is very little laughter or lightheartedness associated with gambling.
Games develop character, honour and integrity. Gambling is risking money (or other valuables) on an activity of chance where money may be won or lost. It takes time and money, not integrity.

The BC Responsible & Problem Gambling Program is committed to meeting the needs of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people living in BC. We have a number of Indigenous prevention specialists and counsellors located around the province who provide free workshops focused on gambling awareness and education, support and counselling services.

In addition to working in local communities with organizations, schools, health centres, and band offices, our Indigenous team is involved in resource development and community engagement initiatives.

If you would like to learn more about our Indigenous services, or you would like to discuss collaboration or our sponsorship of your event or Aboriginal organization, please email

If you are struggling with your own or a family member’s problem gambling and are seeking free support and treatment, please call the BC Problem Gambling Help Line
 at 1.888.795.6111 (24 hrs).

Responsible Gambling Tips for Aboriginals