Vancouver 2010 Olympic logo under the eye of a storm

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Washington, Feb 13 (ANI): Reports have it that the emblem for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics is under the eye of a storm, as it has evoked criticism for its inability to reflect the native art and culture of the Vancouver region and the rest of British Columbia.

The emblem depicts an inukshuk, a symbol used by the Inuit people, or Eskimos, of Canada's Arctic regions.

For centuries, the Inuit have stacked rocks to create inukshuk, which act as guideposts for people traversing the vast tundra.

The emblem is dubbed Ilanaaq-"friend" in an Inuit language-and is an "eternal expression of the hospitality of a nation that warmly welcomes the people of the world with open arms every day," according to the Vancouver 2010 Web site.

But Ilanaaq has generated controversy among some First Nations-Canada's term for non-Inuit American Indian groups.

According to a report in National Geographic News, the groups feel the symbol doesn't reflect the native art and culture of the Vancouver region and the rest of British Columbia, such as totem poles.

Some First Nations indigenous leaders have said that the symbol lacks influence from native cultures of the Vancouver region, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

"The First Nations community at large is disappointed with the selection," Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, told the CBC in 2005.

"The decision-makers have decided not to reflect the First Nations and the Pacific region in the design of the logo," he said.

"I can't help but notice the remarkable resemblance it has to Pac-Man," Phillip added.

Former Nunavut commissioner Peter Irniq told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in 2005 that the humanoid Vancouver 2010 symbol is technically an inunguat-"imitation of man".

Ilanaaq shouldn't be called an inukshuk, Irniq told the CBC, adding that the Olympic Committee failed to consult with Nunavut elders before choosing Ilanaaq's design.

Some Vancouver-area indigenous leaders have suggested a totem pole might have made a better Vancouver 2010 emblem, since the art form is native to British Columbia.

The totemic figures of Canada's Pacific-coast native cultures usually represent ancestors or supernatural beings. (ANI)

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