Mr. Speaker, the 2008 North American Indigenous Games, called the “Journey of a Generation”, are coming to the Cowichan Valley, thanks to Cowichan tribes.
This event will bring together young athletes from all around North America to compete in games ranging from lacrosse to swimming to baseball, and indigenous games including war canoe racing and hoop dancing.
The games are also a cultural celebration. They begin with a tribal journey of over 80 canoes coming from around the Pacific Northwest to gather for the opening ceremonies which are expected to draw over 20,000 participants and spectators.
Over 8,000 athletes, cultural leaders and performers will find a huge welcome in the beautiful Cowichan Valley. It will be a great preview for the 2010 Olympics in Whistler and Vancouver.
I call on the government to use this opportunity to make an investment in aboriginal cultural awareness and aboriginal tourism in conjunction with the North American Indigenous Games. The rewards will be far-reaching and will benefit communities throughout British Columbia.