APTN National News The mayor of Edmonton is addressing fears among business people and others in his community about the city’s rising urban Aboriginal population. Edmonton is poised to become the largest Aboriginal community in Canada. As Keith Laboucan reports, the mayor’s message is people best get used to it.
Mayor Iveson Proclaims A Year of Reconciliation in Edmonton,
March 28, 2014
On behalf of City Council and all Edmontonians, Mayor Don Iveson proclaimed March 2014 - March 2015 A Year of Reconciliation at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Alberta National Event this morning. Citing three distinct initiatives he will bring forward as priorities under the City’s Indigenous People’s Strategy, the Mayor committed to strengthening relationships with Aboriginal communities.
The announcement followed the Mayor’s induction as an Honourary Witness by TRC commissioners.
“As an Honourary Witness, I am responsible to call upon myself and my fellow leaders to be the keepers of history,” said Mayor Iveson. “It is a role I accept with great pride and dedication. The road to reconciliation is long and difficult, but with the right commitments from City Council, I believe we can build positive relationships with Aboriginal communities based on mutual respect and understanding of a shared history.”
The Mayor’s commitments include:
Creating an urban Aboriginal youth leadership initiative to increase participation in civic programs and services, fill gaps in current programming and enable youth to explore career opportunities in the public service.
Developing an education program for city staff that shares the history of residential schools, their impact on Aboriginal peoples, and opens dialogue on reconciliation in the workplace.
Working with Edmonton’s Aboriginal community to create and support a venue, or venues, to promote the spiritual and cultural practices of all indigenous communities, for cultural reconnection, ceremony and celebration.
Mayor Iveson hopes Edmonton will become a symbol of solidarity with Aboriginal communities to other cities in Canada and encourages other municipalities to explore ways they can participate in the process of reconciliation.
"Natives Rue The World" in red paint on a statue commemorating the fur trader.
This is could be the best graffiti we ever get to share with you.
Do not read fur trade or even first contact, this is a statue commemorating JUST the fur trader. Likely the most exploitative and destructive ‘profession’ in Canadian history, all while depicting a nameless First Nations person.
Edmonton is on stolen land and this statue commemorates that history in the heart of downtown, right by city hall.
Note: We did our best to try and concisely summarize our interpretation of the politics and context around this graffiti along with some links. If you have a correction, more information or an insight into this graffiti please share it in the notes.
Here’s a look behind the scenes at the “bits board” for my new #CBC Radio comedy special. Writing is heating up and this list is pretty much set now. Edmonton - see you January 31/February 1 weekend. Tickets available at fortdmontonpark.ca.