Ontario Marks Arrival of Pan Am Torch with Host First Nation
2015 Games First to Feature Indigenous People as an Official Host
The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games will be the first Games to have Indigenous people as an official host, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation celebrated today by welcoming the torch to their territory.
Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer joined Chief Bryan LaForme of Mississaugas of the New Credit, emcees Ron McLean from Hockey Night in Canada and former Pan Am Games gold medal winner Waneek Horn-Miller and members of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation for a community celebration.
Indigenous cultures and customs will be reflected in everything from the medals awarded to athletes to the entertainment featured throughout the Games.
The Ontario government has worked with the host First Nation and other Aboriginal partners to support additional opportunities surrounding the Games that will encourage visitors and Ontario residents to learn more about the important contributions of Indigenous communities.
Supporting a successful, inclusive 2015 Games is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Games organizers have worked with the official Host First Nation and other Aboriginal partners, including the Six Nations of the Grand River, Huron-Wendat Nation and the Métis Nation of Ontario.
- The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte will host the torch on July 3. In addition to today’s visit to Mississaugas of the New Credit, the torch has made stops in Fort William, Serpent River and Aamjiwnaang First Nations.
- Visiting Toronto for the Games? Check out the First Story App to learn more about Toronto’s Aboriginal history.
- The Games and Games-related investments will create more than 26,000 jobs and grow Ontario’s GDP by $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2017.
“We are proud to host these Games on our ancestral lands. The arrival of the torch today is very symbolic. Its light shines on the opportunity to share our unique culture and traditions with the world. My biggest hope is that when our visitors leave this country at the end of these international games, they take a part of us with them.”
Chief Bryan LaForme
“The Pan/Parapan Am Games provide an excellent opportunity for Ontarians and visitors from around the world to learn more about the important contributions Indigenous communities have made to our shared history. We’re grateful for the work of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and all the partner Aboriginal communities that have contributed to this amazing event.”
“The Pan Am Torch relay celebrations bring communities across Ontario together in the spirit of unity and diversity and help generate excitement as we get closer to the Games opening ceremonies. Our government is proud to work with Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and with Ontario’s many First Nation and Métis communities in the spirit of partnership towards a shared legacy that sees Aboriginal Peoples benefit from these Games.”