No Olympic Gold for BC First Nations

You'd think that authentic aboriginal art would be highly prized by tourists in Vancouver to witness the Olympic spectacle. You'd think that the production of same would be a big industry for first nations communities in BC this year. And you'd think that'd mitigate the concern from some anti-Olympic activists that the event will be a money loser for the city. "Sure, the Olympics cost us a bundle of cash we'll never make back," they'll say, "but at least aboriginal Canadians made a mint selling Haida carvings and such."

You'd think all that, but you'd be wrong. From what the Edmonton Journal is reporting today, BC's first-nations communities won't be seeing much in the way of Olympic gold.

Turns out, while an aboriginal art company is going bankrupt in BC, the Olympic organizers have outsourced the making of authentic aboriginal art to China.

1 comment:

Joan O'Leary said...

I am sickened that Vanoc has so blatantly put itself into a position to wring any and all profit from the hands of local artists. The defining feature of western identity is our aboriginal arts and culture. The stories and re-awakening of this proud heritage should be a centerpiece of the games - not a simple opportunity to copy cat and cash in for business. This whole premise of turning the Olympic spirit into a cash cow is to our shame, and I do mean to our collective shame as Canadians.
How can we stand for this? Today I wanted to send a shirt to my young niece in Toronto; a Christmas gift - something to celebrate her connection to her 'western' auntie. I thought about an Olympic shirt - but just couldn't do it. In a better world, such a gift would be truly meaningful - a gesture of encouragement to be involved in sport, to wonder about and yearn to travel to other cultures/nations, and to celebrate her identity as a new Canadian. None of that message could be transmitted with the purchase of a Vanoc shirt. Shame, shame, shame!!!