Building on the original announcement from December, the first ever First Nations-led bid to host the Olympics got even more backing today! In addition to the original parties, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) have now joined in for the ongoing “feasibility assessment”. Here’s what that means.
Back in December, six groups- Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. Basically, this MOU meant that each party would consider both the classic factors of hosting (cost, infrastructure, and so on…) as well as more considerations, like addressing the legacy of the residential school system and the commitment to supporting and including local Indigenous communities in all aspects of planning and hosting international competitions.
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So that was the first step, in a nutshell. And now, the second one has happened! With the COC and the CPC entering the scene thanks to a Collaboration Agreement, the four original parties will get a helping hand in figuring out the costs, benefits, and impacts of hosting the first-ever First Nations-led Olympic games.
“With this collaboration agreement, our nations have a unique opportunity to work closely with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees to determine the impacts and benefits of bringing the 2030 Winter Games back to our territories,” said xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Chief Wayne Sparrow.
“We are only at the beginning of determining what an Indigenous-led Games could look like, but through collaboration and mutual respect, we have the opportunity to create a unique Olympic legacy for all of our communities.”
As mentioned, these are still early steps, and an official First Nations-led bid for the Olympics is likely a ways off. The next step in the plan? Talking with both provincial and federal governments to figure out what funding and other support might come should they make the bid. Then, if all parties agree that it’s a good idea, an official bid will be made.
We say it can’t come soon enough!