IOC President welcomes Grand Chief Littlechild to The Olympic Museum in Lausanne
First Nations leader Grand Chief Willie Littlechild toured The Olympic Museum today with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.
Chief Littlechild, a former member of the Canadian Parliament, was recently appointed to the new Board of the Calgary 2026 candidature committee. He was one of the first 15 Board members to be announced at the end of June. The Chief, who is a lawyer by trade, has spoken very eloquently about how sport saved his life as a young man, helping him to survive the trauma of the now infamous residential schools when he was growing up in Canada. He has said that sport “saved him”, and that the combination of sport and education was a great path to success.
Symbolised in the Olympic rings, sport creates interconnectedness and honours our diversity and our unity.Grand Chief Willie Littlechild First Nations leader
During the visit Chief Littlechild said: “Sport can heal, unite and advance reconciliation. The Olympic Games promote peace and culture through sport by bringing global citizens together to experience the common love of sport. Symbolised in the Olympic rings, sport creates interconnectedness and honours our diversity and our unity.”
The two leaders were able to see the winner’s medal from the World Indigenous Nations (WIN) Games which is on display at The Olympic Museum. It was presented by Chief Littlechild to President Bach during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018. Each medal is hand-made by Indigenous artists, and their creation is accompanied by a special spiritual ceremony.
Chief Littlechild will be in Geneva again in October when he will address the United Nations and talk about the contribution of the Olympic Games to building human rights around the world.
As the two toured The Olympic Museum, IOC President Thomas Bach explained the significance of the colours of the Olympic rings to his guest – explaining that the five colours represent all the colours used in the world’s flags and represent the five continents. Chief Littlechild explained that: “a traditional Indigenous teaching of the five Olympic rings symbolises unity – blue is water, yellow is the sun, black is in the centre and is Mother Earth, green is the grasses and red is fire. All elements are life givers, and have cultural ceremony. Together, representing spirituality, the honouring and winning in life. The interconnectedness of the rings symbolises our richness of diversity and unity.”