The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games (VANOC)

Vancouver Olympics neither Authentic nor Accountable

Local Aboriginal producers of “Authentic Aboriginal Products” -- those designed, produced and distributed by Aboriginal people in Canada –- are dismayed by the lack of commitment to authenticity and accountability of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games (VANOC). We took VANOC at its word when it promised unprecedented support for Aboriginal economic development as well as Aboriginal employment and training leading up to and during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

VANOC has said all the right things through its Aboriginal Procurement Strategy, Aboriginal Licensing and Merchandising Program, and Buy Smart Program. However, VANOC’s words and the reality don’t match. Local Aboriginal businesses have found themselves on the short end of an unfair competition with non-Aboriginal companies who appropriate First Nations culture by selling products with Aboriginal designs on them, but originate overseas. VANOC actually licenses these products and allows them to carry the label of “Authentic Aboriginal Products”. They are not.

By appropriating the term "Authentic Aboriginal Products", VANOC, along with its associated suppliers, are profiting in the tune of millions of dollars, all the while leaving Aboriginal owned businesses and their Aboriginal employees – the producers of truly Authentic Aboriginal Products – with virtually nothing. How does this meet VANOC’s objectives of promoting Aboriginal participation and optimizing opportunities for Aboriginal businesses? It does not.

It is not too late to call on VANOC to honour its commitment to people from First Nations communities and their businesses. Tell VANOC to be authentic and accountable, by signing the petition below:

We the undersigned call on the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games (VANOC) to stop using the term "Authentic Aboriginal Products" to mean their licensed products, with Aboriginal graphics placed on them, that are produced by non-Aboriginal companies, and originate from outside of Canada.

Furthermore, we the undersigned call on VANOC to honour its commitments to local Aboriginal businesses and immediately end the exclusion from its licensing scheme, Aboriginal products that are truly Authentic, made by people from First Nations communities in Canada.

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The Keep the Olympics Authentic and Accountable petition to The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic Games (VANOC) was written by Shain Jackson and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.