On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, Council adopted its first ever Indigenous Land Acknowledgement as a step towards reconciliation in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action released in 2015.
“In light of the tragic discoveries of children’s bodies at the sites of several formal residential schools this past year, as well as the difficult and complex history of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous Peoples, Council is committed to strengthening our relationship with the Indigenous community through action,” said Mayor Nancy Peckford.
“The process of reconciliation begins with looking within our own community and at North Grenville’s municipal processes for opportunities to build awareness and build relationships with Indigenous residents, Peoples and partners. It is through these actions that locally, regionally and nationally, Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities can work together towards mutual respect and understanding.”
The Land Acknowledgement, which will be used to open Council meetings is as follows:
The Municipality of North Grenville acknowledges that the Municipality operates on the un-ceded, and unsurrendered territory of the Anishnabek. We honour the historic relationship of the Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat peoples to this land.
We recognize all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who now call North Grenville their home. We respect and support the need for cultivating a strong relationship with all Indigenous peoples and we look forward to continuing this conversation and fostering the path towards reconciliation.
The Municipality developed the Land Acknowledgement with the considerable assistance of the widely respected Indigenous advisory firm, First Peoples Group. The consultation process included Indigenous members of the community, local school boards, the City of Ottawa, and the Ontario Federation of Labour.
“Public acknowledgement of the traditional territory upon which we live and work is an important step toward reconciliation. North Grenville’s Land Acknowledgement was created based on research of various sources and was refined utilizing feedback from community members,” added Councillor Strackerjan.
To further the reconciliation process, the Municipality of North Grenville is developing a framework in support of the “Calls to Action”. The following steps have been conducted to date:
Council recognized September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and held a Every Child Matters Flag Ceremony with local Indigenous leaders and members of the community.
On November 8, North Grenville lowered its flags in recognition of Indigenous Veterans Day, to recognize and acknowledge the many contributions and sacrifices of First Nations, Inuit and Métis to Canada’s war efforts and peacekeeping missions.
Members of Council and staff have taken part in Indigenous Awareness Training.
Over the next few months, municipal staff will be reviewing its procedures, policies and strategic documents to assess how they align with the Municipality’s reconciliation efforts. This assessment will be the foundation for developing a Reconciliation Framework for the Municipality and will be created in consultation with the community.
The Municipality of North Grenville is working on establishing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) policy for municipal staff, municipal user groups and for community organizations. Staff have already begun EDI training which will run through until March, 2022.
“It is important that as a municipality, we work towards building meaningful relationships within our community. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is a key priority for the Municipality of North Grenville. We have committed to meaningfully advance our efforts as an organization and create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace,” highlighted CAO Gary Dyke. “These actions can already be seen in our recently adopted Community Strategic Plan where reconciliation is prioritized and will be ever evolving as we advance our efforts.”
To learn more about the Municipality’s commitment to reconciliation, please visit: www.northgrenville.ca/live/community-involvement/truth-and-reconciliation.