The City of Yellowknife will be asking residents for their input over the summer, as they draft a reconciliation action plan.
On Monday, city councillors voted in unanimous to take the first steps in this process using the Reconciliation: Starting the Conversation document. Over the summer, the city will be getting feedback from Indigenous governments – the city is on the traditional territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the North Slave Metis Alliance – and residents.
In the document, the city acknowledges it is a ‘colonial government structure and our community exists because of the forced dispossession of Indigenous peoples from their traditional lands.’ The foundation for reconciliation is relationship and truth telling the document states, echoed by the city’s Indigenous relations advisor Maggie Mercredi.
The city’s work, according to the document, is guided heavily by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission including using the Commission’s Principles of Reconciliation as a ‘compass’ and using the Commission’s calls to action as goals to fulfill.
Some ideas which could form part of the action plan include:
- Creating an Elder-in-Resident program at the library
- Creating a sacred space for ceremonies either in or around Somba K’e Park
- Increasing the number of Indigenous people working for the city
- Installing a monument to honour survivors of residential school
- More joint community events and gatherings
The action plan is meant to be a ‘living document’, meaning it can be updated as needed, with both broad principles to guide the city’s work and concrete steps to take.
The city will be asking for feedback throughout the summer. Residents and organizations can also submit their ideas by calling Mercredi at (867) 669-3495, emailing [email protected] or writing to the city (P.O. Box 580, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2N4).