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Home City Council Report outlines City efforts to meet TRC Calls to action

Report outlines City efforts to meet TRC Calls to action

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Report outlines City efforts to meet TRC Calls to action
Prince Albert City Hall -- Herald File Photo.

Bailey Sutherland
Special to the Herald

The City of Prince Albert’s efforts to address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action were presented in a report at Monday’s council meeting.

Aboriginal Awareness Training for all permanent employees, the implementation of the Municipal Cultural Action Plan, the raising of the Treaty 6 Flag in Memorial Square, and the creation of the Little Red River Park educational signage are a few of the ways that the City of Prince Albert has worked towards a more unified city.

Some of the city’s elected officials said they were happy with the City’s efforts, and believed Prince Albert wasn’t getting enough credit for heeding the TRC recommendations.

“I was shocked at what we are already doing, I think that is part of our problem as a city,” Ward 5 Councillor Dennis Ogrodnick said of the report. “[The criticism] is partially our fault, we have not communicated the different initiatives that we do. We are trying to implement the recommendations and this shows we are taking this seriously.”

Of the 94 Calls to Action created by the TRC, the report highlighted 12 of those calls believed to be most relevant to the City of Prince Albert. Measures include working to eliminate the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody, creating an Aboriginal-specific victim services, and adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were suggested to strengthen the City’s relationships with Aboriginal residents.

“We have a real opportunity to be a leading municipality for reconciliation,” said City of Prince Albert Arts and Cultural Coordinator Judy Mcleod, who presented the report.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) documented experiences of Aboriginal students in residential schools and the resulting intergenerational impacts. On June 12th, 2015, the TRC released Calls to Action for governments, stakeholders, and other organizations with the goal of renewing relationships that are based in mutual understanding and respect.

According to the 2016 Census, Prince Albert has an Indigenous population of 42 per cent. A percentage which may have increased in the last few years.

At a City Council Meeting in August of 2021, Administration resolved to draw up a report regarding the effects of the City’s implementation of the TRC’s Calls to Action. The report was to include the work to date that the City of Prince Albert has completed on the matter, as well as consultation with the Prince Albert Grand Council and Métis governance and the City of Saskatoon.