Hello paternalism! Who awarded the Olympics to China, and why were they in a place to tell China to clean up their act?
The idea that Canada should give other countries tips on human rights doesn’t sit well with me. Last year Canada (along with the US) was one of just 4 countries who flat out refused to sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. And in the same way that giving the Olympics to China didn’t spur China on to the height of humanitarian goodness, the advent of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver is inspiring a lot of Canadian dirty dealing.
Here’s a tragic example: Harriet Nahanee was a 71 year-old Squamish elder (that’s right, she was 71) who was jailed for two weeks for her part in a protest against the construction of a highway upgrade in prep for the 2010 Olympics. Protesters stated the upgrade would damage ecologically sensitive land. When she was arrested fellow activists asked that Nahanee not be jailed as she was in poor health. Instead she was incarcerated; shortly after her release she died of pneumonia.
At an intercontinental Indigenous gathering in Mexico in 2007, delegates called for a boycott of the 2010 Olympic Games:
I’ll bet you one Team Canada ‘08 visor that the Indigenous-led boycott won’t get much press.