Rights, Rituals, and Repercussions: Aboriginal Participation in the 2010 Olympic Games Planning Process

Priya Vadi

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) committed to making Aboriginal participation a fundamental part of its broader sustainability objectives through five key areas: partnership and collaboration; sport and youth; economic development; cultural involvement; and awareness and education.

An examination of primary qualitative research against existing participation frameworks indicates that levels of involvement of Vancouver’s Aboriginal population in the 2010 Olympic Games varied. The study also considers the tensions between the commodification and appropriation of Aboriginal culture on one hand, and aiming for higher levels of Aboriginal peoples’ inclusion on the other.

VANOC made a significant effort to improve Aboriginal participation in the Olympics planning process, giving Aboriginal people a legitimate and concrete stake in the Olympic Games. However, conflicting views show that participation in capitalist terms led to a cultural spectacle, failing to address key political concerns of local Aboriginal people.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010

Cite this