KAWARTHA LAKES-At today’s Regular Council Meeting, Council acknowledged National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Mayor Letham read the newly adopted Land Acknowledgement:
“The City of Kawartha Lakes respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Mississauga lands and the traditional territory covered by the Williams Treaties.
We are grateful for the opportunity to work here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land – for thousands of years. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. We also recognize the contributions of Métis, Inuit, and other Indigenous peoples, both in shaping and strengthening this community and country as a whole. This recognition is connected to our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our community.” said Letham.
Officials say over the last year, City staff have been working with local First Nations communities, specifically Curve Lake First Nation, to finalize the Land Acknowledgement and three other new Council Policies. Those policies were adopted by Council at today’s meeting. The policies respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Calls to Action to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation:
- In response to the 57th Call to Action – An Education Policy provides education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools.
- In response to the 67th, 68th, 69th and 70th Calls to Action – A Repatriation Policy has been adopted by Council to address repatriation of Indigenous artefacts and remains and sharing of archival information with First Nations.
- Further actions include a First Nations Land Acknowledgement and a First Nations Consultation Policy recognizing Treaty 20 and the “Williams Treaties”.
A copy of the policies can be found on the First Nations page of the municipal website.
National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs. In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day.
For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
Find out more about National Indigenous Peoples Day and how it can be celebrated.
About the 2022 National Indigenous History Month image
Among the various visual elements illustrating Indigenous cultures, the sun (the summer solstice) is at the centre which is at the heart of the festivities. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as the four elements of nature (earth, water, fire and air), are represented in the image and shown opposite. The whole visual is supported by a multicoloured smoke, reminding us of Indigenous spirituality but also of the colours of the rainbow – a symbol of inclusion and the diversity of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and their members.