Details about how B.C. First Nations will team up with the cities of Vancouver and Whistler in a bid for the 2030 Olympic Winter Games were released to the public Tuesday.
The details of a feasibility study were released by the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations with the organizers saying their bid will use both traditional and scientific knowledge to meet the requirements of the International Olympic Committee.
Wayne Sparrow, Chief of the Musqueam First Nation, said it is very exciting to be part of this bid as an Indigenous-led Olympics.
“We’ll go back to our community and we’ll consult our community and consult our leadership, but Indigenous-led is being able to tell our stories, welcoming everyone here,” he said.
“A hundred years ago, our ancestors welcomed everyone here and everyone knows what happened leading up to today so to be able to tell our stories and be front and centre and be recognized as a government on our lands is something we’ll go back to our communities and consult with them.”
The plan states the Games will run from Feb. 8 to 24, 2030, with the villages open from Jan. 29 to Feb. 27. The Paralympic Winter Games will run from March 8 to 17, 2030.
Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Winter Games in 2010.
However, this bid involves some more locations.
BC Place is the planned venue for the opening and closing ceremonies for Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Paralympic Games will also close at Hastings Park.
A number of skiing and snowboarding events would be held at Sun Peaks, northeast of Kamloops.
Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton told reporters they are grateful for the invitation to be included in the Indigenous-led Olympic bid.
“We do not need to build new facilities … it’s all here,” he said.
A decision on whether to submit a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee is expected in the fall of 2022.
A breakdown of cost is expected to be made available in mid-July, according to the presentation Tuesday.
The 2010 Games cost about $4 billion, including an expansion of the Sea-to-Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler. The organizing committee has said the Games broke even financially.
Sparrow said it is a “great opportunity” to share their stories, walk a path of reconciliation and heal the wrongdoings of the past.