Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games Signs Significant MOU with Yukon First Nations

On a day when development and peace in sport are being celebrated world-wide, an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Yukon First Nations and the Arctic Winter Games.

The Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, Council of Yukon First Nations, Arctic Winter Games (AWG) International Committee, and the Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games Host Society signed the MOU, committing to meaningful engagement in the celebration of sport, culture, languages and traditions.

“This is the first time in the Yukon that an MOU has been developed between First Nations and the Host Society,” says George Arcand, President of the Whitehorse 2020 AWG Host Society. “We are very pleased to take this step forward in ensuring that First Nations protocols are respected, and that they are engaged in all aspects of planning for the 2020 Games.”

“Yukon First Nations play an important role in enhancing the celebration of sport and culture at the 2020 Arctic Winter Games,” says John Flynn, a Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in citizen and President of the AWG International Committee. “In particular, the Games will provide a great opportunity for First Nations youth to get involved as athletes, participants, and volunteers.”

The MOU aspires to: afford Yukon First Nations youth, elders and communities the opportunity to volunteer for the Games; recognize and celebrate Yukon First Nations languages, cultures and traditions; and create the opportunity for Yukon First Nations Elders to function as advisors for all youth at Games-time.

April 6 is also the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP), an annual celebration of the power of sport to drive social change, community development, and to foster peace and understanding. Creating a historical link to the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, this day was declared by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013, and has been celebrated each year since 2014.