Lil'wat & The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

lil'wat nationThe Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are being held within the traditional and shared traditional territories of the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh.

The Nations recognized the significance of their involvement early on in the bid process and are proud to have played an integral role in formulating and mounting the successful campaign to bring the 2010 Winter Games to Vancouver and Whistler.

On November 24, 2004, the chiefs and councils of the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations entered into an historic Protocol Agreement in which they agreed to coordinate their collective efforts to host and support the 2010 Winter Games. As a result, the Four Host First Nations Society was formed.

The Four Host First Nations are proud to be one of the official hosts of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, marking the first time in history that Indigenous peoples have been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as Official Partners in the hosting of a Games.

Aboriginal peoples are eager to be part of the Games: as athletes, artists, workers, performers, volunteers. We are witnessing a tidal wave of grass-roots enthusiasm.

FHFN is working overtime to make Aboriginal participation the defining element of the Games. Making history, we will become the high-water mark for all future Games. They will have to measured against our success.

The Games provide an opportunity for Aboriginal peoples to showcase their cultures, their entrepreneurial spirit, to share a bit of us with visitors from across Canada and around the world.

We are convinced the Games can be transformational ­ not just for Aboriginal peoples, but for the non-Aboriginal people of this country.

The Olympics are providing jobs and development to the four host Nations as well as other Aboriginal communities; some living in isolated rural areas recognize the Games as an economic stimulus package helping them during the economic downturn.

About $159 million will go directly to the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. We call it the ³best return on Aboriginal investment¹ senior governments will ever realize. More than 100 Aboriginal businesses will earn more than $57 million in Games-related activities. Aboriginal youth have new jobs, new skills.

Each of the four host Nations received about $17 million. This includes venues, programs, services and the like.

We estimate that, by Games time, 2,000 Aboriginal youth will be employed in Games-related activities.

But, perhaps above all, we like to think we have developed a new model that can help Canada comes to grips with longstanding, vexatious problems. Together, we can solve them.

The Games provide an opportunity for Aboriginal peoples to showcase their cultures, their entrepreneurial spirit, to share a bit of us with visitors from across Canada and around the world.

We are convinced the Games can be transformational ­ not just for Aboriginal peoples, but for the non-Aboriginal people of this country.