Vancouver 2010: historic agreement
The Four Host First Nations - the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh - last week signed a historic agreement to ensure that the protocols and traditions of their Nations are acknowledged and respected throughout the planning, staging and hosting of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler.
Through the protocol, the Nations agree to work in a cooperative and mutually supportive manner in order to participate fully in the Games and to take advantage of the social, sporting, cultural and economic opportunities and legacies that will arise as a result of the Games.
The Four Host First Nations are pursuing economic opportunities designed to ensure their peoples can more fully participate in the regional economy while, at the same time, protecting one of the most dramatic and magnificent mountain and seascapes in the world.
Promotion of historical and contemporary cultures
The leadership from all Four Nations have agreed to establish the Four Host First Nations Secretariat to represent the interests of the Nations in 2010, and secure participation and benefits for the members of the four communities. The Secretariat, now in its start-up phase, will also be responsible for fostering goodwill and raising public awareness of the Four Nations' historical and contemporary cultures.
"The Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations have coexisted peacefully, occupying and using lands and waters within our respective traditional territories, since long before European contact", explained Lil'wat Chief Leonard Andrew. "This agreement is symbolic of that tradition."
Establish a clear presence
Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish Nation, a Board member of the Vancouver Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (VANOC), said the agreement has evolved from an initiative of the late Squamish Chief Joe Mathias, together with the leadership of the Lil'wat Nation. He added that the protocol confirms the intent of all Four Host First Nations, within whose traditional territories the Games will be held, to work cooperatively to take advantage of all opportunities including economic ones, and establish a clear First Nation presence in the Games while protecting Aboriginal rights and title.
Partnerships and showcase
"The 2010 Games present us with a significant opportunity to build new or enhance existing relationships, establish partnerships and showcase our diverse and extraordinary culture to the world", said Musqueam Chief Ernest Campbell. "By working together we will fully participate in 2010 and more fully contribute to the local, regional and national economy."
"We are not only showing British Columbia that we are working together, we are showing the world that Four First Nations can come together to work toward a common goal", said Tsleil-Waututh Chief Maureen Thomas. "One of our most important objectives as we embark on this historic process is to establish a strong Four Host Nations Secretariat to coordinate our collective effort in support of 2010."
Learn more on Vancouver 2010
Official website of Vancouver 2010