Canadian Olympic Committee Launches Aboriginal Olympian Stories School Program at the Cowichan 2008 North American Indigenous Games



    COWICHAN, BC, Aug. 1 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC)
celebrated the official launch of its Aboriginal Olympian Stories, a new
addition to the Canadian Olympic School Program. These stories are a new
division to the recently expanded Canadian Olympic School Program presented by
RBC.
    These stories profile Aboriginal Olympians who have represented Canada at
the Olympic Games. They offer students the opportunity to gain new insights
into Aboriginal cultures. The Education Symposium hosted by the Cowichan 2008
North American Indigenous Games provided an ideal opportunity for COC to
launch the program.
    "Education groups began asking what the Canadian Olympic School Program
was doing to support Aboriginal education," said Bruce Deacon, Manager of
Education and Community Relations, COC. "We wanted to connect students with
the Olympic Movement while at the same time introducing them to some of the
greatest Aboriginal Olympians of all time."
    Olympians featured in this section of the Canadian Olympic School Program
include: Angela Chalmers (Athletics), Waneek Horn-Miller (Water Polo), Alwyn
Morris (Canoe/Kayak), and the late Tom Longboat (Athletics).
    "These athletes are wonderful role models for Aboriginal youth by
exhibiting Olympic and Aboriginal values of excellence, leadership, respect
and perseverance," explains Virginia Doucett, Executive Director of the
Aboriginal Sports Circle.
    The stories are told in English, French, Cree, Mohawk and Hul'qumi'num
and include a series of learning activities that fit well with language arts
and social studies provincial learning outcomes.
    "The North American Indigenous Games are about supporting Aboriginal
youth, using the power of sport to enable them to pursue their dreams and feel
pride in their rich cultural history. Who knows, perhaps we have some future
Olympians participating right here at these Games," said Rick Brant, CEO of
Cowichan 2008. "These Aboriginal Olympian Stories will create an educational
legacy for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth and showcase the significant
contribution Aboriginal athletes have made to Canadian sport."
    With the generous support of long-time sponsor RBC, the COC recently
expanded the program to include learning resources for Grades 2-12. The
addition of the new Aboriginal Olympian Stories to the Canadian Olympic School
Program will enable the Olympic Movement and Olympic spirit to be shared
through several languages and cultures.
    "We are pleased we could partner with the COC to celebrate these four
Aboriginal athletes and highlight the many Aboriginal languages spoken across
Canada," said Donna Wilson, Executive Vice President Workforce and
Sustainability for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "This project furthers our objectives to
raise awareness of the diversity of Aboriginal languages in Canada and will
help to bring greater recognition to the issue of Aboriginal language
renewal."
    The Aboriginal Olympian Stories and lesson plans are available as free
downloads at www.olympicschool.ca
    The Canadian Olympic School Program has been providing teachers with free
bilingual classroom resources since 1988. It provides top quality learning
resources designed to meet provincial learning outcomes, while engaging
students in the excitement of the Olympic Movement.

    The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit
organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects
of Canada's involvement in the Olympic Movement, including Canada's
participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of
programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and
educational means. For more information, please visit the COC website:
www.olympic.ca.

    RBC (RBC) sponsors amateur sport, from grassroots programs in local
communities to national sport associations that support the development of
amateur athletes who compete at home and abroad. RBC has sponsored the
Canadian Olympic Committee since 1947, making it Canada's longest-standing
supporter of the Canadian Olympic Team. RBC continues this sponsorship through
the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. RBC is also a Premier
Sponsor of Hockey Canada, the Canadian Snowboard Team, the Canadian Freestyle
Ski Team, Athletics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee.





For further information:

For further information: Riley Denver, Communications Coordinator,
Canadian Olympic Committee, Phone: (416) 324-4143, Email: rdenver@olympic.ca

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