July 11, 2007

AFN and Four Host BC First Nations to sign historic Memorandum of Understanding for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

OTTAWA, July 11 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and
the Four Host First Nations (FHFN), the Lil'wat, Musqueam, Squamish and
Tsleil-Waututh nations, have agreed to work in a positive and mutually
beneficial partnership regarding First Nations participation in the Vancouver
2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. To this end, they will sign a
historic Memorandum of Understanding tomorrow morning (Thursday) at the AFN
Annual General Assembly in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at the World Trade and
Convention Centre.

"The 2010 Olympics will provide a unique opportunity for First Nations
and Canadians to work side-by-side, and to share in the long-term social and
economic legacy that these historic Games will provide," said National Chief
Phil Fontaine. "The AFN is committed to working with the Four Host Nations,
who have already done a tremendous amount of work over the past several years.
We encourage all First Nations peoples to participate - either as athletes,
volunteers, exhibitors, performers, or spectators. In less than three years,
the eyes of the world will be upon British Columbia and Canada. The strength
and diversity of First Nations cultures and traditions will be witnessed by
billions. We will leave a lasting impression."

The signing formalizes their relationship and commitments to work in
partnership to ensure successful 2010 Winter Games and to develop
opportunities and legacies for First Nations Peoples, particularly First
Nations youth.

This MOU is part of the FHFN commitment to ensure that First Nations,
Inuit, and Métis Peoples across Canada have opportunities to be involved, and
to enrich the Games through their cultures.

Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish Nation and board member of the
Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games (VANOC), said that "the relationship between the AFN and the FHFN will
provide First Nations Peoples across Canada with an opportunity to fully
participate and to share their diverse cultures with the world - thereby
enhancing the Games and building a lasting legacy for First Nations beyond

The signing of the MOU will be witnessed by David Guscott, VANOC EVP of
Corporate Strategy and Partner Relations. John Furlong, CEO of VANOC also
shared words of congratulations. "The 2010 Winter Games will be stronger
because of unprecedented Aboriginal participation in the planning and hosting
of the Games and we are honoured to be witnessing this historic MOU," said
Mr. Furlong. "The AFN and FHFN have embraced our vision of touching the soul
of our nation and will help us share the rich and diverse cultures of
Aboriginal Peoples with the world. They share our desire to make these
Canada's Games and truly make the 2010 Winter Games a celebration of the
Canadian spirit that will leave lasting legacies for future generations."

Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director and CEO of the FHFN, strongly believes
"an MOU between the AFN and the FHFN is significant in building a strong
relationship with other First Nations. We are working towards a common goal
which is to have a successful 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games with First
Nations participation."

The MoU signing ceremony and remarks will take place between 10:15 to
10:50 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom, World Trade and Convention Centre, Halifax.

The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada.

For further information: Assembly of First Nations: Bryan Hendry,
A/Director of Communications, (613) 241-6789, ext. 229, cell (613) 293-6106,
bhendry@afn.ca; Nancy Pine, Communications Advisor - Office of the National
Chief, (613) 241-6789, ext 243 ,(613) 298-6382,
npine@afn.ca; Rene Pollett,
Communications Specialist, (613) 241-6789, ext. 314, cell 613-295-2149,
rpollett@afn.ca; Four Host First Nations: Tewanee Joseph, Executive Director,
fourhostnations@shaw.ca, www.fourhostfirstnations.com


I'm a member of this 'Squamish Nation' and it's the first I hear of it. The 2010 Olympics have been so hidden from our own people. Little to no information was given to us prior to the announcement of Vancouver getting the 2010 Olympics and to this day little information is being given by the Land Claims Department and Chief & Council of the Squamish Nation (The Land Claims Department is headed by Gibby Jacob, VANOC Board Member). Organized opposition was never given to the band council although there is opposition growing because of the lack of communication between the sell-out Chiefs and the people.

Right now, knowledge is key. My people simply do not know what's going on. If my people had more information to the things being effected because of the 2010 Olympics. Developments of sacred sites like Deeks Creek, Mount Garibaldi, and the others must be known about. I meet more my people who say, "Yeah, I was against the Olympics" or "I'm against the Olympics" all time but the right question's need to be asked.

I am deeply getting more and more frustrated by all the things I hear about in the Province, the Vancouver Sun, the Globe and Mail, Google, and listservs I belong to.


To my people, the

I'm calling any concerned people of our nation. Band meetings and water-cooler-talk about the horrible things happening cannot go on. Even if you are not against the Olympics openly, I implore you to look at what's going on with our people, our land, our culture. Search your principles on what you believe in and what you stand for. Destruction of land, especially spiritual places cannot happen. The justification of the theft of our land cannot go on. The Canadian government and the Provincial governments history of abuse to the Indigenous people all over Canada, and the world.

If you are concerned and want to work on something together, please contact me. I'm calling on any of my people who do not wish everything to be sold away for money. Our children must know that some collaborated, and others resisted.

(Replace the AT with @)


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