Commemorating the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games

On Friday, March 20, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre welcomes Whistler locals, visitors, and school groups to view a short documentary film that provides a glimpse into the lives of the 300 indigenous youth from across Canada that took part in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Games. Followed by a panel discussion with Chiefs from the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation, who were involved in hosting the 2010 Winter Games.

Attendees will have a chance to meet Lil’wat Chief Leonard Andrews, Squamish Chief Bill Williams and Squamish Chief Gibby Jacobs, who will reflect and discuss the impact indigenous involvement had on the Olympic Games and the lasting legacy for communities of the Four Host First Nations (FHFN).

Attendees will also meet Latash (Maurice Nahanee, Squamish Nation) who was the Indigenous Coordinator for the 2010 Winter Games and responsible for overseeing the Indigenous Youth Gathering to present at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. A revered elder in the Squamish community, Latash was instrumental in pulling together the key indigenous planning for the 2010 Winter Games. He was also an Olympic Torchbearer and the SLCC has his torch and tracksuit on display from February 12 – March 22, 2020.

Event Timeline:

  • 1:00pm – Welcome Song
  • 1:00pm – Documentary Film Begins
  • 1:30pm – Panel Discussion
  • 2:00pm – Light refreshments available

Included in regular museum admission; contact tours@slcc.ca for group rates.

Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob sin the foreground with Lil’wat Chief Leonard Andrews looking on in the background;. Photo taken by Dan Carr during the Torch Relay handover between Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation in front of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
Four Host First Nation Logo

Four Host First Nations (FHFN)

During the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Squamish and Lil’wat Nations were in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation to form the Four Host First Nations, a group that coordinated Indigenous involvement in The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Their joint support of The Games was a contributing factor to winning the bid over other cities, and their international recognition was notably boosted in 2006 when the FHFN Chiefs attended The Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Torino, Italy, to welcome the world to the next winter games on their four territories.

Indigenous Youth Gathering

A highlight of the 2010 Winter Games was the Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation youth participated with over 300 indigenous youth that traveled from across Canada to take part in this amazing experience. In many cases these youth travelled from remote communities over large distances, and may have been their first time experiencing leaving home. Lasting bonds between indigenous youth were developed and has since allowed for continued cross-cultural sharing and friendships. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were a spectacular display that showcased the diversity of Inuit, Metis, and First Nations culture throughout Canada with indigenous youth presenting their traditional dances, songs and regalia on a global platform.

Olympic Legacy

The Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler’s Upper Village.
Photo: Robin O’Neill Photography

A decade later, Olympic legacies from the 2010 Winter Games continue to foster greater understanding and awareness of Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation cultures. Land acknowledgements between Resort, Provincial, and Nation to Nation bodies generate greater economic development; the First Nations Snowboard Team continues to train young athletes aspiring to their athletic goals, and the SLCC is a thriving organization providing meaningful employment for young adults from both nations.

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