Truth and Reconciliation day and Orange Shirt Day will be held this Friday, and the Town of Strathmore is looking to honour the day in many different ways.
One of the ways will be a reconciliation walk around Kinsman Lake at 12:30 PM, which will start at the healing garden in front of the municipal building. Later that day, there will also be a Kairos Blanket Exercise from 6:00-9:00 PM at the Lord of all Lutheran Church. Mayor Pat Fule said he, along with town council and many staff members, did a blanket exercise in the past, and he said the exercise was a great way to learn more about Indigenous culture and history.
"A lot of us went through some training and and we've come through with a lot more understanding of Siksika Nation and their culture."
Mayor Fule also said the Town will look to communicate ways that the community can join in reconciliation efforts, outside of just this one day.
"We have a spotlight on 7 calls to action. So our communications and event team and our admin team has highlighted 7 of the 94 calls to action from the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. And we'll be showcasing those seven calls to action on large decals around the community. And that way people can learn about some of the actions that the Town of Strathmore is doing in the actual town of Strathmore itself for truth and Reconciliation Day."
On Tuesday Town of Strathmore Staff placed decals in the Municipal Building and in Kinsmen Park, today (Wednesday) five more sets will be placed at various locations throughout town. The decals are being put in place to help people learn about Truth and Reconciliation.
The Town of Strathmore’s Indigenous Liaison, Astokomii Smith, selected seven calls to action that are especially meaningful to our own community.
The 7 calls being highlighted are:
#7. We call upon the federal government to develop with Aboriginal groups a joint strategy to eliminate educational and employment gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
#14. We call upon the federal government to enact an Aboriginal Languages Act that incorporates the following principles:
Aboriginal languages are a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society, and there is an urgency to preserve them
- Aboriginal language rights are reinforced by the Treaties.
- The federal government has a responsibility to provide sufficient funds for Aboriginal-language revitalization and preservation.
- The preservation, revitalization and strengthening of Aboriginal languages and cultures are best managed by Aboriginal people and communities.
- Funding for Aboriginal language initiatives must reflect the diversity of Aboriginal languages.
- The preservation, revitalization, and strengthening of Aboriginal languages and cultures are best managed by Aboriginal people and communities.
#43. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
#57. We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skillsbased training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
#69. We call upon Library and Archives Canada to:
- Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in the residential schools.
- Ensure that its record holdings related to residential schools are accessible to the public.
- Commit more resources to its public education materials and programming on residential schools.
#80. We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.
#92. We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:
i. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects.
ii. Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.
Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
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