With this being National Indigenous History Month it seems appropriate to look at how our local government is adapting to make Indigenous communities a more active part of governance at City Hall. How can we acknowledge the history of the land and then refuse to give the traditional landholders more of a say in what happens upon it? We can’t, and staff members at the City of Guelph are working on that.
It was this time last year when we were all reckoning with our thoughts and feelings about the discovery of unmarked graves at former residential school sites. The City of Guelph has had an official land acknowledgement for almost six years now, but there was a pressing need to do more. A new position called the Intergovernmental Advisor Specializing in Indigenous Relations was created with the goal of leading the City’s relationship-building with key First Nation and Métis government partners.
Earlier this year, it was announced that Trevor Bomberry from the Mohawk Nation and a member of Six Nations of the Grand River was hired to fill the part, but in an example of just how in-demand smart, talented, and forward-looking Indigenous leaders really are, he’s already moved on. Instead, we will address questions on this topic to Guelph Museums manager Tammy Adkin, and the City’s manager of policy and intergovernmental relations Leslie Muñoz.
In this edition of the podcast, Adkin will talk about how perceptions of the past are changing, how the museum staff are changing with the times, and how we can celebrate the existence of Guelph and Canada while acknowledging our difficult past. With Muñoz we will talk about the mechanics of engaging with the various Indigenous groups represented in Guelph, encouraging more participation, and the ongoing difficulties in trying to fill the new City’s position meant to facilitate some of those changes
So let’s talk about Reconciliation out of City Hall on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
The City of Guelph is currently in the process of hiring a new Intergovernmental Advisor Specializing in Indigenous Relations and that job posting can be found on all the major job sites if you know someone highly qualified and looking for work. If you missed this year’s National Celebration of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Guelph, we will have some audio from the event on this week’s Open Sources Guelph.
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