It was throughout one of many early planning periods for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics that Chief Gibby Jacob heard a provincial authorities official speaking concerning the Callahan Valley, which might ultimately host cross-country snowboarding and ski leaping through the Video games.
Jacob, who participated within the bidding course of for the Olympics and was a member of the Video games organizing committee board, lastly put up his hand.
“I asked who the hell is this Callahan and how the hell did he get his name on our lands,” the Squamish Nation hereditary chief stated with a chuckle. “They all looked at each other. I said find out and let us know.”
It seems the Callahan Valley, situated close to Whistler, B.C., was named after one of many early surveyors within the area.
“That was the start of our big push to get our names back on places,” stated Jacob.
Indigenous teams had a voice in organizing and internet hosting the 2010 Video games. However Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has prompt any motion to convey one other Video games to the town ought to be headed by Indigenous leaders.
In early November, Vancouver metropolis council voted to postpone a call on whether or not it desires to discover making a bid. Metropolis workers are anticipated to current a report back to council in early 2021.
Stewart has stated considered one of his circumstances for supporting a bid is that the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh — the three Indigenous First Nations whose conventional territory contains Vancouver — head the Olympic bid committee.
“I have talked to the Nations about this and there’s interest there,” the Vancouver Solar reported Stewart saying in a state-of-the-city tackle to the Larger Vancouver Board of Commerce.
Emails to Stewart’s workplace asking to elucidate the mayor’s proposal weren’t instantly answered.
Khelsilem, a councillor with the Squamish Nation Council, is not conscious of any formal talks about main a bid.
“We haven’t had any formal discussion about it,” he stated. “We haven’t made any formal decision about whether we want or don’t want. And we haven’t had any formal discussions with our neighbouring nations.”
Representatives of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh didn’t reply to interview requests.
Khelsilem stated earlier than any choice is made, the professionals and cons of internet hosting an Olympics have to be weighed.
“The reality is that something like hosting an Olympics requires a significant amount of investment and support from both the federal and provincial governments,” he stated. “Whereas there are a selection of reported benefits, there’s additionally quite a few drawbacks.
“I feel plenty of that workflow must be found out, particularly within the context of the challenges that we’ll face over the subsequent decade and the challenges that we’re going through on quite a few fronts.”
Moreover, Jacob stated: “there’s quite a bit to be gained by being concerned [in a bid] for our folks.”
“I do not suppose that our nations, given what now we have so far as management sources and how briskly they appear to alter, would have the ability to take issues proper from scratch to completion,” he stated.
Creating a typical agenda
With 15 of the venues used for the 2010 Olympics constructed on First Nation conventional territories, Indigenous assist was essential for the Video games success. The Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Lil’Wat nations fashioned The 4 Host First Nations, a non-profit group with the targets of uniting Canada’s Indigenous folks and inspiring inclusion throughout the nation.
“I feel it created a typical agenda,” said Jacob. “By doing that and reaching what we set out, it was completely excellent.
“I think it showed leadership that the four separate First nations could work together for a common purpose and get benefits from it.”
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Involvement within the Video games raised consciousness of Indigenous points throughout Canada, he stated.
“When we first started out, we were pretty invisible in our own territories,” stated Jacob.
Indigenous teams did “fairly well in compensation for the use of our lands,” he stated. The Olympics additionally led to conventional Indigenous names being returned to areas and landmarks plus recognition of First Nation arts and tradition.
John Furlong, who was head of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Video games (VANOC), is a part of the group trying on the 2030 Video games. He stated any bid can be not possible with out Indigenous participation.
“I see no scenario at all in which First Nations are not involved,” he stated. “They have been a distinction maker in 2010.
“First Nations are in a number of new enterprise since 2010. My instincts inform me they are going to be keenly thinking about being concerned once more.”