Indigenous-led 2030 Olympic Bid 

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The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw, Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations – along with the City of Vancouver and Resort Municipality of Whistler have signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee to explore together the feasibility of hosting the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in British Columbia. The Collaboration Agreement followed the historic signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Host Nations, the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in December 2021, which marked the first step of the process. 

This is not yet an official bid for the Games. It is an opportunity for the four Nations to assess both the positive and negative aspects of hosting, as well as explore available funding opportunities. Working under the leadership of the Host First Nations, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are fully funding the key technical work and local engagement conducted by a team of experts. Once the full picture is understood, a decision will be made whether to present a formal bid.  

"We call upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth games to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events."

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Call to Action #91

Such a bid would be the first Indigenous-led bid in the history of the Games and, if successful, would be a major step towards Reconciliation through sport. The four Host Nations proudly welcomed the world for the 2010 Vancouver Games, playing an important role as they took place on our shared territories. The 2030 Games would be an opportunity for the Host Nations, and their Members, to take on the lead role in all aspects of planning and hosting this international event.  

This is an opportunity to announce to the world that we are not invisible, we are still here and will always be here. The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw is proud to be part of this historic partnership and will keep Membership informed as the process unfolds.  

Timeline

We are currently in the Engagement Phase. Visit gamesengagement.ca for more details.

MOU signed
Click here to view the document
Collaboration Agreement signed
Click here to read the press release
Feasibility Phase
Facebook Live on April 7 with Squamish Nation Spokesperson Sxwíxwtn, Wilson Williams nd VIP guests Tewanee Joseph, Clara Hughes, and Richard Peter
Feasibility Phase
Community event at Totem Hall on April 24
Engagement Phase
Hosting Concept draft released on June 14
Bidding Phase
Tentative
Selection of Host City
Tentative
December 10, 2021
February 1, 2022
January - June 2022
January - June 2022
June - November 2022
December 2022 - April 2023
May 2023

Media

June 14, 2022

Whistler, BC, Canada —Today, at a ceremony at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler, the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, together with partners at the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), officially revealed a concept for hosting a future Olympic and Paralympic Games in British Columbia.

“As we navigated the feasibility phase, our Nations worked closely with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and our municipal partners, to not only determine if it is possible to host, but to truly explore what it would mean to host an Indigenous-led Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said yəχʷyaχʷələq, Chief Wayne Sparrow. “With the release of the Games concept, we can finally begin to share that we are ready to welcome the world back to our territory and create new paths towards reconciliation through sport.”

The concept reveal marks the end of the feasibility phase, one step in an Indigenous-led and privately funded process that can set a global model for partnerships between First Nations, governments, and the world of sport in the exploration of hosting transformative major events.

“This is an important step in our consideration of a potential Indigenous-led bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Squamish Nation Spokesperson Wilson Williams. “Now it is time to speak to our communities, and indeed the Canadian public, as we seek feedback on the more detailed proposal. In keeping with the traditions of our Nations, the communities will have an opportunity to add their voice to the discussion and help the Leadership Assembly as we move closer to a decision.”

“Today is a very important day, as we enter into the next phase of this Olympic journey,” said Chief Jen Thomas, Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “Tsleil-Waututh is honoured to stand with our families from the Four Host Nations and our partners as we continue the good work to move towards the first ever Indigenous-led Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The hosting concept represents a proposed Winter Games that is sustainable, values-led and community-focused. The plan almost exclusively reuses and revamps existing venues – such as UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (ice hockey and Para ice hockey), the Richmond Olympic Oval (speed skating), and the Whistler Sliding Centre (bobsleigh, skeleton, luge) – ensuring that these important pieces of Canadian sport infrastructure are maintained and viable for generations to come. The concept also proposes a new partnership with Sun Peaks Ski Resort near Kamloops, which would host snowboard and freestyle skiing events on the traditional unceded territories of the Adams Lake, Little Shuswap Lake and Neskonlith Indian Bands.

In addition, the Games are designed to be climate-positive – the first Games mandated by the International Olympic Committee to have a net negative carbon footprint. This means sustainability is at the core of the concept, from venue reuse and construction to athlete transportation, with the aim of having a lasting impact on climate policy and action in Canada long beyond the Games.

“This exciting concept for a 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games is about more than building on the successful legacy of the 2010 Games. An Indigenous led process, based on respect, inclusivity and community, started with an invitation from the Host First Nations to come to the table, each bringing unique strengths, to create an exceptional Games and to welcome the world in 2030,” said Tricia Smith, four-time Olympian and COC President. “Sport brings us together and this project can be an example of reconciliation and how we can work together to make us all better.

“The feasibility team, led by the Four Host First Nations, has done commendable work to explore a new vision for a future Olympic and Paralympic Games in British Columbia,” said Gail Hamamoto, Vice-President, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “An Indigenous-led host Games in 2030 would be fully inclusive and mark an exciting new stage of growth for the Paralympic Movement in Canada, providing robust, quality opportunities to grow Para sport in B.C. and across the country with lasting legacies in sport participation for people with a disability, high performance development, and awareness of Paralympic sport. We look forward to continuing the Games concept work with all partners and engaging in further discussions throughout the next phase.”

The Indigenous-led process of exploring opportunities to bring the Games back to British Columbia began with a historic signing of an MOU between the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in December. The Four Host First Nations along with the two municipalities invited the COC and CPC into the process through a collaboration agreement in January.

As part of the collaboration agreement, all parties committed to participating in a feasibility assessment and the initial concept development to bring the Games back to Canada’s West Coast in 2030, while respecting the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 91, the Province of British Columbia’s legislation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and the federal government’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP).

“Today’s unveiling of a hosting concept for a proposed 2030 Winter Olympic bid is another step in an Indigenous-led process that has put reconciliation at its core,” said Vancouver Mayor, Kennedy Stewart. “I am excited to see the robust consultation phase begin in each host community around this Games concept. It is an opportunity not only to engage around the idea of hosting the Olympics, but more importantly the idea of working in true partnership with the First Peoples of these lands to build a more sustainable, equitable and just future for all.”

“This Indigenous-led project represents an exciting opportunity to build stronger relationships and stronger communities. We have the experience, expertise and learnings from the 2010 Winter Games to help make a 2030 bid even better,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “In this next phase of the project, we will be listening and learning from Whistlerites, to ensure the long-term legacy of any future Games creates strong positive impacts, especially in the areas of workforce housing, transportation and accelerating progress on our climate objectives. Coming out of the pandemic, the Games represent an opportunity for us to reimagine our future, and build our community back stronger, together.”

With an initial hosting concept developed, the project will advance into a broad and ongoing phase of community engagement and discussion with the public – a process that started within the communities of the Four Host Nations. The team is now actively seeking to discuss the project in greater detail with the public and other key stakeholders at the local, regional, and national levels. In the coming weeks, more details will be announced, including financial estimates.

This engagement will help inform the leadership assembly partners. Should the project proceed, the COC, on behalf of the partners, would continue dialogue with the IOC within the international bidding process.

The entirety of the Games hosting concept can be viewed on the Games Engagement website in both English and French.

February 1, 2022

Vancouver, BC, Canada — Four First Nations – Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ Tsleil-Waututh) – along with the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler have signed an agreement with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee to officially collaborate on exploring the feasibility of hosting the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in British Columbia.

As part of the collaborative agreement, all parties are committed to participating in a feasibility assessment and initial concept development to bring the Games back to Canada’s West Coast in 2030, while respecting the Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action 91, the Province of British Columbia’s legislation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA), and the federal government’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP).

“An Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid that genuinely embraces the TRC’s Calls to Action, DRIPA and UNDRIP will be ground breaking,” said Kúkwpi7 Skalúlmecw Political Chief Dean Nelson of Líl̓wat Nation. “There is potential for these Games to be a social innovation driver for First Nations—we will be considering the many ways this potential can be realized.”

“With this collaboration agreement, our nations have a unique opportunity to work closely with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees to determine the impacts and benefits of bringing the 2030 Winter Games back to our territories,” said xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Chief Wayne Sparrow. “We are only at the beginning of determining what an Indigenous-led Games could look like, but through collaboration and mutual respect, we have the opportunity to create a unique Olympic legacy for all of our communities.”

“We welcome the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee, as they join our Nations in the feasibility assessment of hosting the 2030 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Councillor and Spokesperson Wilson Williams. “This is another important step in our process and we hope to build a meaningful relationship with the COC and CPC. Their valuable knowledge and expertise will help the Nations decide if we want to move forward with an official bid for the Games.”

“We look forward to the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee joining us in our journey with the other host Nations and municipalities as we explore bringing the 2030 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games back to Greater Vancouver and Whistler,” says Chief Jen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “The work ahead of us will continue to be Nation led, as we continue with this historic initiative of an Indigenous led Olympic and Paralympic bid for the Vancouver 2030 Games.”

The announcement follows a historic signing of a similar MOU between the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in December, which marked the first step of the process.

“The signing of this Collaboration Agreement is the important next step. It is consistent with the COC’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action around sport and major event hosting and to a partnership based on community, respect and inclusivity. It also allows us, as the franchise-holder for the Olympic Movement in Canada under the Olympic Charter, to progress discussions with the International Olympic Committee as part of its Future Host Selection process,” said Tricia Smith, four-time Olympian and President of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

“This builds on the work started last month by the Líl̓wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations alongside the City of Vancouver and Resort Municipality of Whistler. I am looking forward to partnering to guide the important operational work required to determine the interest, potential impacts, opportunities and ultimately, the feasibility, of a 2030 Games.”

A group of experts in the region have been engaged to do the necessary research and technical assessments in order to determine the feasibility of hosting a future Winter Games in British Columbia. Conversations with key stakeholders are ongoing and will lay the groundwork for a more formal concept review this spring. The development of a draft hosting plan would follow the concept review phase. The Canadian Olympic Committee is fully funding the key technical work and local engagement required to complete the feasibility assessment of 2030 Games concepts.

“We believe British Columbia offers an incredible opportunity to develop a 2030 Games concept with an emphasis on generating a lasting legacy far beyond sport including developing a new standard for diversity, inclusivity and accessibility to create barrier free access to sport and recreation in this country,” said Marc-André Fabien, president, Canadian Paralympic Committee. “With significant work already underway, this initial phase of the project is about exploring all opportunities to stage a successful Games that illustrates the power of sport to inspire and unite, and makes significant positive impacts in promoting and creating healthy, active communities.”

Following the feasibility and initial concept phase of the process, a full assessment will be completed by all parties within the Collaboration Agreement. Should a decision be made to proceed with a potential 2030 Bid, Canada could continue its dialogue with the IOC while respecting the formal international bidding process.

Mayor Kennedy Stewart, City of Vancouver
“Building off the historic signing of a partnership MOU between the Líl̓wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in December 2021, Vancouver is pleased to take this next step in reviewing a 2030 Games opportunity. As a City of Reconciliation, we will do so focusing on the Indigenous-led values of respect, inclusivity and community and together, explore what a 2030 Games could mean for our city and the region.”

Mayor Jack Crompton, Resort Municipality of Whistler
“The Resort Municipality of Whistler is grateful to have been invited by the the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations to this process and we welcome this next step of joining with the Canadian Olympic Committee to explore the feasibility of a 2030 Games. We look forward to building and strengthening relationships as we collaborate on the potential benefits and opportunities for our communities.”

December 10, 2021 

Vancouver, BC, Canada — Today, four First Nations – the Lil̓wat7úl (Líl̓wat), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations – announced they have jointly entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler to begin the process of assessing the feasibility of hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The signing of the MOU is a positive first step forward for the four First Nations and the two municipalities, who will now work with the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) along with other stakeholders to explore the impacts and benefits of hosting the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The MOU creates a Host Nations Exploratory Assembly for the consideration of a 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bid.

“The Líl̓wat Nation is pleased to partner with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the City of Vancouver to explore the first Indigenous led bid to host the 2030 Games,” says Chief Dean Nelson. “The Nations’ participation in the 2010 Games as a bid partner was ground-breaking, and with this announcement and our desire for this to be the first Indigenous led bid for an Olympic Games, we continue to lead the way in Indigenous participation in major events.”

“The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games brought our four nations together in a new and exciting way. Since then, we have continued to work together for the benefit of our communities,” says Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow. “By exploring the possibility of bringing the Games back to our territories, we have an opportunity to create a new Olympic legacy that is grounded in our unique Indigenous perspectives – an approach that should be considered for all future Games.” 

“In the spirit of Reconciliation, it is important for our Nations to understand the impact and potential benefits of hosting the 2030 Winter Games,” says Squamish Nation Councillor and Spokesperson, Wilson Williams. “Should a bid go forward, our Nations will lead and engage in all aspects of planning and hosting the Games. It is an opportunity to announce to the world that we are not invisible, we are still here and will always be here.”

“In 2010, we had the opportunity to host the world on the traditional territory of the Líl̓wat, Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Those Games created a legacy for the four Host Nations,” says Tsleil-Waututh Nation Chief Jen Thomas. “From all that we learned from hosting the world in 2010, we know that along with the City of Vancouver and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, we will be able to build off that legacy, making the 2030 Games the first Indigenous-led Olympic Games and the best Games yet.”

Vancouver and Whistler, as the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games co-host cities, have been invited by the Host Nations to participate in these exploratory discussions. The MOU has been formally endorsed by the elected councils of each of the partners and builds on the legacy of the 2010 Games.

The Assembly will work with the COC and CPC to assess the feasibility of 2030 Games concepts for the region that all partners will review. The feasibility analysis will focus on collective benefits and priorities, and on how the bidding process can set frameworks for government partnerships.

As one action addressing reconciliation in sport, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has called upon the officials and host countries of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth Games to ensure that Indigenous Peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events (TRC Call to Action 91).

Additional Quotes

Mayor Kennedy Stewart: “This historic partnership is the first step in exploring something unprecedented, creating the first ever Indigenous-led Olympic and Paralympic bid. As a City of Reconciliation, Vancouver is honoured to be invited along with Whistler to support the four Host Nations in this process and demonstrate what true reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples can look like.”

Mayor Jack Crompton: “Whistler saw significant benefits from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As a local government, the Resort Municipality of Whistler is compelled to heed the Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report and accept the invitation from the four Host Nations to join them in exploring the impact and potential benefits from hosting the 2030 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

Host Nations

Líl̓wat Nation
communications@lilwat.ca

Musqueam Indian Band
Odette Wilson
owilson@musqueam.bc.ca
236-885-7335

Squamish Nation
Marc Riddell
Marc_Riddell@squamish.net
604-902-3357

Tsleil-Waututh
Cassie Brondgeest
cbrondgeest@twnation.ca
236-334-4525

Partners

Vancouver Mayor’s Office
Alvin Singh
alvin.singh@vancouver.ca

City of Vancouver
Communications Office
media@vancouver.ca

Whistler Mayor’s Office
Communications Department
communications@whistler.ca
604-967-3030

Canadian Olympic Committee
Thomas Hall, Director, Communications and Media Relations
thall@olympic.ca
514-709-1054

Canadian Paralympic Committee
Nicole Watts, Manager, Public Relations
nwatts@paralympic.ca
613-462-2700