Developing Partnerships to Honour Aboriginal Sport History

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Tewanee Joseph knows first hand how powerful partnerships can be. As executive director of the Four Host First Nations Society, he oversees a partnership of four First Nations that ensures cultural traditions are recognized in the planning and staging of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. He also played a part in creating the new Aboriginal Sport Gallery, which opened in June and showcases stories, photographs and artifacts from across British Columbia.

"Athletic excellence has been a way of life for Aboriginal peoples for centuries. This gallery shares the incredible and historic accomplishments of our athletic heroes through the ages, while paying tribute to traditional sports," explained Tewanee, a member of the Squamish Nation. "A diverse group of six partners all worked together, with the future of Aboriginal sport in mind, to build the gallery."

An accomplished athlete himself, Tewanee was captain of the North Shore Indians Lacrosse team for eight years and has won four national championships in box and field lacrosse. He hopes the new gallery will help to share his love of sport with Aboriginal youth and demonstrate the important role partnerships can play in creating community legacies throughout BC.

"Alone, we could never accomplish everything we set out to do. Through our partnerships we've found that we have many things in common with all people who share these lands," said Tewanee. "The partnerships we develop today will become one of the true legacies that will continue beyond the 2010 Winter Games."

The Aboriginal Sport Gallery, which is housed at the BC Sports Hall of Fame, is a permanent tribute to the unique contributions Aboriginal peoples have made to the sport heritage of BC. The gallery was created in partnership by 2010 Legacies Now, Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Association of BC, BC Sports Hall of Fame, Four Host First Nations, Province of BC and VANOC.