Response To Arts, Crafts
are brisk at these Olympic Games for all things First Nations:
cedar carvings, Salish weaving, Kwakwaka'wakw silver and masks,
drums and high-end Haida clothing.
the Four Host First Nations as the first-ever indigenous Olympics
co-hosts, intense promotion by Aboriginal Tourism B.C. and strong
native themes at almost all Games events, "there is a real
buzz in the air," said Sophie Pierre, chair of Aboriginal Tourism
a doubt, there has been so much interest generated at these Games
in aboriginal culture and tourism, we expect very significant economic
spinoffs," said Pierre.
have members in every corner of the province, so this will benefit
all First Nations over the long term," said Pierre.
28 "trailblazers" as Olympic tour guides, who will take
their training all over B.C., has made aboriginal youth keen on
cuisine by chefs Andrew George, Arnold Olson and culinary arts instructor
Ben Genaille -- from salmon and seafood to Nk'Mip wine and even
grilled rattlesnake -- has been featured at parties around the city.
the benefits to the First Nations presence are not just economic.
meetings with our people, getting to know our culture, arts and
food, has accomplished so much more than constant confrontation,"
said Tewanee Joseph, the CEO of the Four Host First Nations (FHFN).
also see the pride growing in our kids, now they talk about who
noted that 14,000 people a day visit the FHFN pavilion, with long
lineups for Chiefs' House shows and even to get into the store.
than 2,000 aboriginal people are working at the Games and at least
$100 million in long-term economic spinoffs is anticipated, said
have 'sold' signs. Everything's flying off the shelves," said
Joseph, but he also noted the "networking" by native-owned
and Grant McKay of Vancouver bought a handmade First Nations drum.
absolutely loved the native theme at the Opening Ceremonies -- the
energy and the power, and it's such a positive image of First Nations,"
said Lynn McKay.
the street at Vancouver Community College, more than 100 aboriginal
artisans and businesspeople from all over Canada are doing a brisk
been really great, there's a tonne of traffic and we're taking orders,"
said Dean Heron, the Tlingit artist who created the Olympic snowboard
art and carving attract a crowd, as do Salish woven blankets by
Hunt, the Kokouye/Tlingit artist who designed the Olympic medals,
was amazed by the attention.
been amazing, just way beyond what I believed could be the interest
and potential for sales," said Hunt.