There is only (a little less) than one year until the BC Winter Games cuts loose in Quesnel – and on Lhtako Dene territory.
To commemorate crossing the one-year countdown line, the Games organizers and public officials all gathered at City Hall on Monday afternoon (March 6) to cut the ribbon on the Games office, cut the cake to celebrate the occasion, and cut through 230 years of colonial presumption. History was made when the Lhtako Dene Nation was officially named as host of the event in equal conjunction with Quesnel. The name of the event is now, officially, the the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games.
“These Games are about more than just a sporting event,” said a joint statement issued by the Nation’s chief and council. “They will present an opportunity to gather and share our traditional ways of life that have been practiced for thousands of years and will continue to carry on. Lhtako Dene Nation is excited to welcome participants and spectators to our unceded territory and look forward to creating memories, building community and sharing knowledge that will last a lifetime.”
City of Quesnel mayor Ron Paull, along with several town council members, Regional District representatives, School District 28 personnel, and many key municipal staff were there to applaud the partnership.
“The City of Quesnel is proud to be a part of the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games and we are very pleased to be hosting these Games in a true partnership with the Lhtako Dene Nation,” Paul said. “This first joint naming and hosting of the BC Winter Games is both an historic first and it will serve to deepen the relationship between the City of Quesnel and the Lhtako Dene Nation.”
Alison Noble, BC Games Society president and CEO, was here in Lhtako territory to verify the fully named partnership on behalf of the organization that runs both the BC Summer and Winter Games on a rotational basis, on behalf of British Columbians.
“This initiative was driven by the local community in the spirit of reconciliation and in recognition of the true joint partnership between the Lhtako Dene Nation and local partners to put on this event,” Noble said. “The naming of the Games is only the beginning and we‘re excited to see this partnership grow.”
Driven by local dialogue, the initiative is part of Quesnel’s ongoing commitment to recognize Lhtako Dene‘s traditional territory, ways of life, and continued cultural presence in the region.
The Lhtako Dene Nation is part of the Dakelh (or Southern Dakelh) Nation in the Athapaskan language group. The multi-sport Games, which will bring thousands of B.C.‘s top young athletes, coaches, and officials to the region, represent a unique opportunity to immerse participants from all over the province to the culture and history of the Lhtako Dene people.
The Lhtako Dene Nation and the City of Quesnel are partnering with the Cariboo Regional District and Quesnel School District to bring the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games to life. To learn more about the Games, visit bcgames.org.
Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
“The BC Winter Games are a shining example of the power of sport in our communities. Reconciliation is at the heart everything we do, and it is a key focus in our strategic framework, the Pathways to Sport. The Province is particularly excited about this initiative because it highlights how partnerships with First Nations can be advanced to benefit everyone. Congratulations to the Lhtako Dene Nation and the community of Quesnel. We look forward to these memorable Games in 2024.”
CaribooIndigenous reconcilliationLocal Sports