Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games receive traditional items from previous Host

The Wood Buffalo 2023 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) Host Society is on the receiving end of a couple of traditional items from a previous Host Society.

During a cultural celebration at Doug Barnes Cabin on September 13, Nyla Klugie-Migwans from the 2020 AWG in Whitehorse, Yukon, presented the Wood Buffalo Host Society with a traditional button blanket and a #91 Truth and Reconciliation flag and pins.

“The button blanket acknowledges that reconciliation is part of healing our community through sport and cultural activities,” said Klugie-Migwans.

“It is through this legacy that we continue to inspire and be the change for the generations to come.”

The blanket will be showcased during the 2023 AWG, and the Culture Committee will work with Klugie-Migwans to support the legacy of Whitehorse 2020.

“On behalf of the people of my traditional territory and homelands, we share our gratitude in the gifting of this sacred ceremonial item,” said Allison Flett, Co-Chair of the Host Society’s Culture Committee.

“In receiving this gift, we promise to care and honour all that it represents – to protect us, to warm us, and to forever connect us to the Yukon.”

Hazel Bunbury from the Ta’an Kwach’an Council of Whitehorse, named the blanket Lech’I Dün K’e, which means “Like One People”.

The Host Society also presented Klugie-Migwans with a traditional drum created by Randy Marten during the cultural exchange.

Unfortunately, the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games were cancelled days before on March 7, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Call To Action #91 is the call to officials and host communities of international sporting events such as the Olympics, Pan Am, and Commonwealth Games to ensure that Indigenous peoples’ territorial protocols are respected, and local Indigenous communities are engaged in all aspects of planning and participating in such events.

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