But when the Cowichan Tribes bid for the job, they lost.
Instead, The Bay opted for what some First Nations artisans are calling an expensive knock-off. The Bay is marketing its hand-knit sweater for $350, compared with $215 for the Cowichan original.
"I was disappointed our bid didn't get in," said Emily Sawyer-Smith, assistant manager of Hills Native Art in Duncan.
"My mom taught me how to knit when I was 15 … and my mom had-made sweaters and ponchos," Martin said.
Martin said the Bay's version of the sweater has an elk and a maple leaf but lacks authenticity.
"It's not Cowichan-made," she said.
"It was a matter of finding a quantity of knitwear in a time frame, and apparently it was a fair and open process," said B.C. Minister of State for the Olympics, Mary McNeil.
Below: "The design of the sweater worn by the woman in the centre in this photo has prompted First Nations allegations of a 'rip-off.'" (CBC)
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