February 11, 2010

2010 Olympics on "unceded territory"

Olympics Met With Mixed Emotions By First Nations

By Martin KasteStewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, says his people still retain rights to the land that the Olympics are being held on.

"British Columbia is unceded indigenous territory," Phillip says. "Unlike the rest of Canada, we have not entered into nor have we signed treaties, and therefore we still enjoy unextinguished aboriginal title to all the land and resources of British Columbia."

To some, this means the Olympics are being held on stolen native land. But Phillip says if the Four Host First Nations want to allow the games on their land, that's their right. Not that he's happy about it. His organization has kept its distance from the Olympics, and he's even refused to take part in the tribute to native culture in Friday night's opening ceremony, which he calls "Disneyesque."

"I don't think it's proper for me to stand there and hold hands with government officials and be part of the misrepresentation of the well-being of our people," Phillip says.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Protesting Poverty at 2010 Olympics and Olympics Organizers Diss Natives.

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