One week ago the 2010 Olympic Games opened in Vancouver, HelloCoolWorld’s hometown. Our photographer and friend, Nancy Bleck, Slanay Sp’ak’wus, reflects on the Games First Nation’s focus.
Last Friday, day of the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympic games I watched while some of my First Nations friends participated, and others protested.
During the ‘official’ opening, whether they knew it or not, the world was introduced to a basic lesson in First Nations protocol, or Chiyacx, the traditional law for how to do things in a good way. Those unfamiliar with Chiyacx, may have observed only what they see as ‘dancing and costumes’, what should be understood as regalia and ceremony. What happened was actually an historical first.
Nancy Bleck is an award-winning international artist working with photography, film, video, and cross-cultural collaboration. She was recently honoured with the YWCA ‘Women of Distinction' award in the category of Arts, Culture and Design, for her work on Uts'am - Witness, a project spanning 10 years.
Hello Cool World joined an estimated 4,000 people who gathered on the afternoon of Sunday, February 14, for the 19 Annual Women’s Memorial March. The yearly gathering serves as a reminder that violence against women is persistent in our neighborhoods, provinces and country. Led by the families of missing women, we gathered at the Carnegie center and slowly walked through Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (or as locals refer to it, the DTES) through to Gastown, watching supporters wave from apartments above.
Hailing from the mountain town of Salt Lake City, Utah, Lizzy enjoys picnics, reading on a lazy Sunday morning and adventurous bike rides. After learning about books at the University of Toronto she now calls Vancouver home. She joined Hello Cool World as a member of the LACE campaign action team, and luckily for us, decided to stick around.
Since Hello Cool World's non-virtual office is in Vancouver we find ourselves in the midst of a pretty big street party! In the coming days, our video team will report from the streets on what is going on in our 'hood. Check out our first video blog-cast from the Opening day "alternative" - the convergence protest the afternoon of February 12, a largely celebratory gathering of thousands of people who wanted their voice heard over the corporate-speak of the official games. Earlier in the day, more peaceful protests disrupted the route of the Olympic Flame relay.