Chief Gibby Jacob chosen for OCOG board 

One of the last pieces of the Vancouver Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games has fallen into place with Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob chosen as the First Nations’ representative on the board.

"I feel awesome," declared Jacob, who is the 19 th member of the 20-member OCOG board.

Last week Jacob’s colleagues on council voted unanimously for their Chief to represent their interests on the OCOG. Members of the Mount Currie council also voted nearly unanimously for Jacob.

"That’s a definite good sign of trust and respect so I really appreciate not only the appointment but the kind of faith they put in me," said Jacob.

"I’m very ecstatic about it."

Chief Leonard Andrew of Mount Currie said the decision was a "no-brainer."

"I recommended him because of his expertise and experience and involvement since day one."

Jacob has been involved in the Olympic movement since he took over as Squamish Chief in 2000 after hereditary chief Joe Mathias died.

He was a member of the Board of Directors of the 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation and was in Prague for the announcement of the win on July 2.

Jacob is committed to hosting the most successful Games the world has ever seen.

"Certainly wanting to have the best Games ever never leaves my mind," he said.

"This is something that will be developed for the athletes and we certainly want to ensure that what is being prepared for them is going to be the best ever Games. That’s one of my objectives in participating in this piece."

A second objective, which he will bring to the OCOG table as the First Nations’ representative, is a sense of inclusiveness for the First Nations people.

It’s not just about including the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations but presenting the issues of other Aboriginal organizations and Métis groups.

"All of that will be playing some role in who I have to approach and talk to because one of the things is inclusiveness... of all of the benefits that will be forthcoming for the Olympics," said Jacob.

Along with Jacob as the First Nations’ representative, the 20-member board is made up of representatives from Whistler, Vancouver, the federal and provincial governments, the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Those board members will then choose the final member of their board.

Whistler’s representatives are municipal administrator Jim Godfrey and the interim president of Tourism Whistler, Barrett Fisher.

Jacob said there are tentative dates for the first OCOG meeting to be held at the end of the month. Though no formal agenda has been announced, he said there are a few issues which will likely be dealt with in the very near future. Chief among those issues is the board’s nomination of a 20 th , and final, OCOG member. In addition, the board must decide on a chair.

Jacob said he also expects they will also be preparing for the International Olympic Committee’s visit in November.


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