Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Aboriginal VIPs

The 2010 Olympics committee has decided to do something never before in history. It's inviting four First Nation leaders to the Vancouver Olympics. They are to be treated as heads of states. Therefore, they will get the same services and personnel as U.S. President Obama. The First Nations were here before us. We took this land away from them. However, we can't just sell it back. By making their leaders VIPs, we recognize that they are a different people and that they can represent themselves.
For the first time, four aboriginal leaders, including Justin George, chief of the 400-member Tseil-Waututh, will be accorded status equivalent to head of state at an Olympic Games. It may be a first anywhere for indigenous representatives for such a high-profile international event.
"I don't think aboriginal leaders have ever been recognized in this way," said one 2010 protocol official, who asked not to be identified.
The exalted designation granted chiefs of the Four Host First Nations, on whose traditional territory the 2010 Games will take place, includes access to all events, prime seating among other dignitaries, access to the private Olympic lounges, transportation, and their own assistant to ensure that all protocol goes smoothly.
"They will have the same status as other leaders from around the world, and it's about time," Tewanee Joseph, executive director of the Four Host First Nations, said yesterday. "We want to show that our chiefs are head of their own communities, with their own governance structure. It's very important for them to have discussions with other leaders at the same level, rather than just being talked down to."


  1. Are the chiefs really heads of state? Do they issue passports to their members and have seats at the UN?

  2. The aboriginal people in Canada are allowed to get their own passports. Although, some countries don't accept those special passports


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