TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - When athletes arrive to compete in the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games they will be welcomed by the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN), the official Host First Nation of the Games.
The signing of the historic protocol agreement between the First Nation and the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) took place today. A special community celebration will also be held on June 2, 2014, at the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Community Centre.
"All members of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation are pleased to welcome the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, including the athletes, dignitaries and other international Games guests, to our traditional territory," said Chief Bryan LaForme.
"To us, the Games represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase the roots, language, traditions and culture of the Ojibway (Anishinabe) and to promote respect for and recognition of indigenous peoples across Canada and the Americas," he said.
As Host First Nation, MNCFN will work with TO2015 on ceremonies, community sport activations, arts and culture, youth programming, employment, internship opportunities, economic development, Host First Nation branding and volunteerism.
The traditional territory of the MNCFN includes much of the Greater Toronto Area where the majority of Games venues, including the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes' Village, are located.
"As the official Host First Nation, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation will actively work with us on the planning, staging and hosting of the largest international multi-sport Games in Canadian history," said the Honourable David Peterson, chairman of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) board of directors.
"The formalizing of this relationship," he continued, "demonstrates the importance TO2015 and its partners place on ensuring Aboriginal peoples have meaningful involvement in the Games — and that the Games are a catalyst for the further future positive development between Aboriginal people and Canadian society."
"The Games will provide an opportunity to showcase our tremendous Canadian athletes as well as the rich culture of our great country, including the important contributions of First Nations peoples," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).
The Six Nations of the Grand River, Huron-Wendat First Nation and Métis Nation of Ontario have signed memorandums of understanding with TO2015, formalizing and recognizing their involvement in the Games. The Host First Nation and other noted communities all have important traditional ties to the Games region.
TO2015's Aboriginal Leadership Partners group was formed more than two years ago under the original leadership of MNCFN Chief LaForme.
About Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation is part of the Ojibway (Anishinabe) Nation, one of the largest Aboriginal Nations in North America and is located in Brant and Haldimand Countys about one hour southwest of Toronto, Ontario. The Nation has signed two contemporary land agreements that recognize MNCFN's traditional land and heritage rights in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Vision of the Mississaugas of the New Credit is that of living a joyful celebration of its heritage. A heritage that includes their culture, identity, beliefs and traditions as Anishinabe.
For more information about MNCFN, please visit www.newcreditfirstnation.com.
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10–26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–15.
The TORONTO 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.
For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information: Aimee Sault, Economic Development, MNCFN, 905.768.1133; Teddy Katz, Director, media relations and chief spokesperson, TO2015, 416.957.2117, [email protected]