A multi-First Nations sporting event would not be complete without inspirational opening ceremonies giving family and friends a chance to cheer on their favourite athletes.
Bob Dailey Stadium was the place to be on Aug. 3 as each Nation entered the stadium and circled the track with banners held high. Tseshaht, Hesquiaht, Hupacasath, Ahousaht, and Uchucklesaht were among the colourfully clad teams.
Youth and elders sang together as Clifford Atleo Sr., Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council President led a large group of drummers in the Celebration song.
Announcer Simon Lucas from Hesquiaht and dozens of yellow shirted volunteers kept the day's events running smoothly. Crowds in the stands continued to build through the evening as families arrived to enjoy a hotdog or hamburger in the bleachers while taking in the ceremonies and kid-friendly races.
Day one of the games gave a chance for young and old to show off their athletic prowess in preliminary track events. The pre-schooler and toddler races attracted many excited giggling children who were happy to make a dash for the finish line. Turtle races were just as thrilling for senior track stars.
Following a call-out for nominations for the Nuu-chah-nulth Sports Hall of Fame, Hector Michael Little of Manhousaht and Joseph Charleson Sr. of Hesquiaht were selected as new inductees for 2011. They were both present at the opening ceremonies to receive this special honour.
The ceremonies were the kick-off to the 2011 Nuu-chah-nulth Tlu-piich Games being held in Port Alberni through Aug. 7.