Sunday, 6 March 2011

2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Misconceptions:

(Originally Posted on my Facebook on February 13, 2010)

Below is something I wrote to a couple of people due to this misconception of First Nations people being treated wrongly because of these games. Below is what I believe to be true due to my opportunity to work with this event as well as my own research. Please read, comment, and pass along. It is not the most sophisticated writing I have done but it gets right to the facts.


While working last year I had the opportunity to deal with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I also had the opportunity to discuss in great detail issues/rumours that were being harboured by people against these games, which I discuessed specifically with the Four Host First Nations. This term is given to the Four First Nations who’s territory the Olympic Games will be, and are being, played on. These four include the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh peoples.

The truth is these Olympics mark the first time that an Indigenous population was approached, and asked for permission to host said games on their traditional territory. These 4 Indigenous peoples agreed, after consulting with their citizens. These games also mark the first time in their history that an indigenous people became full partners in said games. Thus, the 4 communities are full partners and participators in these games, which is why the leaders of these communities have been given ‘Head-Of-State’ status – which is also a first time for First Nations. In fact, when these communities agreed to allow it, and gave their permission, it had to be accepted first by the traditional leaders of their people, and then the band elected leaders. Which it had been.

The fact is that the condemnation towards these Olympics, when dealing with ‘native issues’ is not coming from a vast majoirty of First Nations people themselves, but is being used by non-native people who are involved with very radical left-winged groups. Just as there are crazy and ignorant right winged zealots, there are some who exist on the left wing as well. These people, who holds banners such as ‘No Olympics on Stolen Land’ are not speaking on behalf of us, or these communities who’s territory is being used for these games. In fact it is controversial and despicable of said groups to speak on behalf of us, or to speak on behalf of these 4 communities, when they do not have the right or proper standing to do so with us or these First Nations.

Furthermore, the fact is these leftist zealots are simply using the native issue as a way to promote their yearning for attention, nothing more. This can be heavily seen today since these people have turned to rioting and damaging peoples property because they were no logner getting attention.

It is said that the media is not being truthful on this and exposing these protesters for what they are – which are liars. The fact is they are not speaking on behalf of us and are not speaking for these communities – majority of them are simply pushing for an end to capitalism, and the beginning of socialism – but the media does not focus on these aspects, instead giving much attention to the ‘native’ aspect.

In order to learn this you have to look further into it, I suggest trying the Four Host First Nations site – where they have press releases, one of which has a traditional elder of one of the communities condemning these people for spreading lies, etc.

These games are a time for all of us around the world to come together and forget our ignorances and differences. For 2 weeks it allows us to be friendly rivals and that we can unite together, even if it does not happen that often.

I have followed the development of these games and I ruge people to look into the other side, especially the perspective of these communities who’s territory the games are being held on. I would also express that many First Nations communities, the AFN, and so on, have endorsed these games because of their inclusiveness and respect towards us and our rights.

I urge people to look into things further before picking sides or lambasting groups of people as it is the right thing to do - in many cases those people may actually have little to do with the situation at hand

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