The four host First Nations, on whose traditional territories the Vancouver 2010 Olympics will be held, are excited to welcome the world to their land and culture.

“We would call the 2010 Games the world’s biggest potlatch,” said Tewanee Joseph, the executive director of the Four Host First Nations Society. “We need everybody to celebrate with us, to host the world, to come together.”

B.C.’s Premier Gordon Campbell and Jack Poole, chair of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee, have said the Olympic bid would not have been a success without the support of First Nations, Joseph said.

The nations — Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh — have been involved in the planning of the Games since the beginning, which is unusual, Joseph said, because First Nations are normally consulted late in the game — if at all.

“By inviting us in and being a part of it, this truly becomes Canada’s Games.”

Before the bid was announced, he added, the International Olympic Committee asked the chiefs whether the partnership was real or simply window dressing.

In exchange for their support, the four Nations have each received Olympic legacy packages for culture and economic development.

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