February 25, 2010

Natives are winners at 2010 Olympics

Canadian aboriginal tribes want benefits to extend beyond Olympics

By Dennis MooreFinancial rewards are big.

Each of the First Nations received $20 million worth of programs, services and venue construction from governments.

Approximately 100 aboriginal businesses have earned more than $57 million in contracts for Games-related activities ranging from helping to construct the Callaghan Valley ski center in Whistler to selling crafts.

But all involved play up intangible rewards: "Showing the world who we really are rather than being stereotyped," says Leonard Andrew, chief of the Lil'wat.
And:An average of 14,000 people a day have visited the aboriginal center, Wade says. "We didn't want to be seen as just wearing beads and headdresses."

One-third of royalties of merchandise sold at the Aboriginal Pavilion Trading Post is donated to the Youth Legacy Fund.

There's more shopping at the Aboriginal Artisan Village.

All of the attention differs greatly from past treatment.
Comment:  I'll say again that presenting Natives in a popular, media-friendly format such as the Olympics is worth a lot of documentaries, textbooks, and blog postings. That's why it's important to get Natives into movies such as Avatar and Twilight, TV shows, comic books, video games, and so forth and so on.

For more on the subject, see Native Buzz at 2010 Olympics and Olympics Broadcast in Native Languages.

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