Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Events: Acceptable on our Home and Native Land?

Are the Vancouver Olympics socially responsible? It would seem to depend on who you ask. With the Olympic torch crossing the border into British Columbia and the 'home stretch' to Vancouver, champions and critics are crawling out of the woodwork, many of them using the event as a platform for social activism. Some on the positive side, some on the negative side.

One of the more high-profile social issues that has been dominating the local media throughout the planning phase of the Games has been aboriginal engagement. In British Columbia honouring tribal territory rights is a very politically significant issue, and has been a consideration of Games organisers since before the Games were awarded. In fact, VANOC agreements with the four host First Nations were signed in order to be able to present the original bid for the Games to the IOC. For some, however, there is little equity in holding an Olympic spectacle on 'stolen native land'. Indeed event organizers are faced with more complicated social issues than ever as part of their activities.

Anyone interested in reading more about either perspective on aboriginal involvement in the Olympic Games may want to check out the following:
* Organisers' perspectives on Aboriginal Engagement in the Games
* Critic's perspectives related to Aboriginal Engagement in the Games

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