Council discussion on Truth and Reconciliation

The City of Regina is moving ahead with its adoption of recommendations put forward in the Truth and Reconciliation Report.

Passed with unanimous support in March of 2016, Regina City Council moved a Referral Motion that directed City Administration to report back to Executive Committee by December 31, 2016 on potential actions. Progress is already being made and a rigorous public consultation progress will take place in the months ahead. A list of accomplishments can be found in the agenda package. Adoption of the TRC recommendations includes reviewing human resource practices like diversity training, addressing affordable housing and homelessness, the delivery of community services, the building of new community spaces, and a number of other ambitious goals. This is why public engagement is critical.

Early in 2017, for the purpose of creating a forum for all community champions to gather together to share knowledge regarding the TRC Calls to Action, Administration has submitted an application for funding to the Urban Partnership Proposal, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The Learning Café Engagement will occur prior to the end of March 2017, and will consist of “champions,” community organizations (i.e. local businesses, Chamber of Commerce, etc.) elected representatives and individuals, youth representatives, and others, to collaborate, share knowledge and discuss initiatives to respond to the TRC’s Calls to Action.

The Learning Café Engagement Session is proposed as a one day session, with approximately 150 guests from 10 to 15 organizations. The Session will offer three to five panel speakers, one keynote speaker, and approximately 22 Elders and/or Knowledge Keepers. The Session will focus on four main themes: (1) employment; (2) education; (3) health and wellbeing; and (4) access to services. 

What isn't explicitly mentioned in the approach to reconciliation is the renaming of streets. While the City has a number of formal processes in place around naming, changing a street name as part of reconciliation will involve pressure from the community and support from Council. The same goes for translating street names into one of the many Indigenous languages spoken in Treaty Four.

If you want to be part of this engagement process, or have thoughts on street names, please let me know. Or, call the City at 777-7000 and request to join the conversation. Send me an email at astevens@regina.ca.