Thursday, October 18, 2007

No Olympics on Stolen Land

A recent gathering in Mexico of indigenous peoples from the length and breadth of the Americas called for a boycott of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I came across the announcement reproduced here (including pictures I haven't included on this site), but I'm not sure where it came from originally. I think this is an important development that those of us who are settlers attempting to figure out what it means to be in solidarity with indigenous struggles need to learn about and support.

Here is a media release:

Intercontinental Anti- 2010 Olympics Movement Launched In Mexico

For Immediate Release October 18, 2007

Coast Salish Territory; Vancouver

Indigenous representatives attending an intercontinental Indigenous gathering in Vicam , Sonora Mexico have called for a boycott of the 2010 Olympics Games. The meeting, which was attended by over 1500 delegates representing nations from the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America, began on October 11thth and ended on October 14th. Indigenous people met to discuss 515 years of invasion and resistance to colonial occupation of Indigenous lands, with the Olympics a central theme.

Delegates agreed that the 2010 Games, to be held on the occupied Indigenous territories of Vancouver "BC", will have an immense negative impact on Indigenous people's lands and lives. Reading from the proposed resolutions delivered at the gathering, Gord Hill, a Kwakwaka'wakw delegate, stated that "Olympic related mega development on Indigenous lands have already disrupted hunting and fishing grounds and destroyed sacred sites". The resolutions also drew attention to the death of esteemed Elder Harriet Nahanee who died after she was imprisoned for protesting the expansion of the Sea to Sky highway – the primary artery to the main site of the 2010 winter Games. In the final statement, adopted resolution number two states "We reject the 2010 Winter Olympics on sacred and stolen territory of Turtle Island--Vancouver, Canada”. Angela Sterritt, Gitxsan participant, said "Not only are the 2010 Games destructive to the environment, but they will accelerate violence against Indigenous women. Prostitution is being actively promoted and referred to as a "tourist attraction" for the games".

The Gathering, held on Yaqui territory, followed a number of regional gatherings throughout Mexico. The delegates representing Northern Turtle Island, also known as Canada, agreed that defense and protection of the land and unity were central to their effort towards self-determination and freedom. The year 2010 in Vancouver marks a great threat to Indigenous people and to these goals.

Delegates from across the continent decided that resistance to the Olympics should be an international objective. Given the Olympic massacre of over 300 students in Mexico in 1968 and the exploitation of Indigenous people in other countries that have hosted the Olympics, the Indigenous peoples in Vicam agreed that stopping the Olympics 2010 is imperative. Hundreds if not thousands of Indigenous people now plan to attend the Olympic Games, not in celebration, but in resistance to the danger the Olympics poses to Indigenous lands, identity, culture, health, livelihoods, and to future generations.

For more information contact:
Dustin Johnson, Spokesperson, 604-602-7226; email: dustin[at]
Angela Sterritt, Spokesperson, 604-562-1028; email:[at]
Gord Hill, Spokesperson, 604-602-7226; email: warrior-publications[at]

For more information on the the indigenous gathering as a whole see this article, which I found via this post.

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