By Dale Woodard on September 21, 2021.
The spirit of reconciliation will now hover permanently over Lethbridge Town Hall.
The permanent raising of the Siksikaitsitapi flag – Blackfoot Confederacy – marked the official start of Reconciliation Week in the city in a ceremony Monday morning at City Hall.
The City of Lethbridge has made a number of truth and reconciliation commitments, including new flag poles outside City Hall that will permanently display the Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) flag.
Earlier this year, Lethbridge City Council approved the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Recommendations and Work Plan, which follow on from a 2017 pledge to respond to the Commission’s 94 Calls to Action. truth and reconciliation.
âThe flag of the Blackfoot Confederacy hoisted in City Council today is an inspiration to all of us,â said Treena Tallow, Co-Chair of the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Council. âWe have worked for many years to bring this flag to where you see it today. So we’re very proud as a committee to be able to bring this to the community and educate our community on Blackfoot territory and spotlight all the hard work that the whole community has come together to bring the news. indigenous people at the forefront to help remedy some of these past wrongs that have been heard throughout history.
The morning ceremony featured speakers including Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman, who has been recognized for his work on Indigenous issues, as well as dancers.
âTo see the Siksikaitsitapi flag constantly fluttering outside City Hall is a visual reminder of the history of the land in which we are located,â Spearman said in a statement. âI hope the visual will spark conversation, ask questions and encourage our community to engage in meaningful opportunities to learn more about Indigenous culture. The recognition of truth and reconciliation is more essential than ever.
The City of Lethbridge will officially observe National Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30 and will close municipal facilities to honor the importance of this day. This year marks the fifth annual week of reconciliation.
âWe’ve really come a long way,â said Tallow. âI’ve been here for 25 years and since Kainai we’ve really come a long way. In our first week of reconciliation, we were proud to be able to highlight reconciliation, highlight our coming together relationships, address some of the issues, and look back over the past five years to see how much we’ve grown and the work we’ve grown. have been able to achieve over the years. It is a dedication to the Mayor, Council, Lethbridge Reconciliation Advisory Committee and all staff. All come together to advance work like this where everyone in the community can come together and work together to tackle some of these challenges. So it’s very inspiring for an aboriginal woman. I am really proud of the city where we are going in this direction and I hope that this work will continue.
However, Monday’s flag raising is a step in the process, Tallow said.
âReconciliation is about bringing us all together and solving these complex issues. We can have flags, t-shirts and ribbons, but the hard work is to bring equality for all and create a place where indigenous people can feel at home in this community and on this land and be recognized and represented as we traditionally are. “
Several online and in-person events are taking place in the city this month to mark Reconciliation Week.
Further information can be found at http://www.lethbridge.ca/indigenousrelations
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