Nearly a year after the 2010 Winter Olympics arrived in Vancouver, enthralling people across Canada and the world, a provincial minister is travelling to communities, thanking businesses for their contributions toward the successful event.
On Jan. 5 Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands Pat Bell arrived in Hittatsoo to thank Iisaak Forest Resources for the wood they donated to make the podiums the athletes stood on as they accepted their medals.
Five local Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations—Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Toquaht and Ucluelet—own Iisaak Forest Resources.
Administrator Dave Jacobson said prior to the start of the games a request for wood donations came in from the Forestry Minister’s department through their offices in Port Alberni. From there, Forest District Manager Paul Knowles sent the request to Iisaak.
Iisaak responded by donating enough western red cedar to make several Olympic podiums, including the main podium that stood in downtown Vancouver. The wood, Jacobson said, was harvested in Clayoquot Sound at Tranquil Creek in Tla-o-qui-aht traditional territory.
The minister and his wife, along with District Manager Knowles, were welcomed by their Yuulu?il?ath hosts Tyson Touchie and elder Barb Touchie.
According to Jacobson, Minister Bell thanked the company for their donation then presented a shadow box to Iisaak. The ha’wiih of three first nations were present, along with representatives from the two other nations, to accept the gift.
According to a press release issued by the province, Minister Bell had this to say, “The Western Red Cedar harvested and donated by Iisaak Forest Resources helped showcase our gold-medal performance in sustainable forestry practices to the world.”
He went on to say, “like the world’s best athletes, British Columbia’s forest sector strives to be the best at balancing environmental, social and economic issues.”
Bell presented Iisaak Forest Resources with a special 76-cm x 76-cm x 10-cm (30-inch x 30-inch x 4-inch) shadow box containing a wood tray identical to the ones used to present the medals during the Games, a photo of athletes celebrating on top of the podium, and a special edition coffee-table book featuring all of the podiums.
Jacobson said he doesn’t know where the actual podiums are or what is being done with them.