Proclaiming the Year of Reconciliation

Post Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Late last month, the final national event for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was held in Edmonton. I was proud to attend and bear witness on behalf of all Calgarians.

The history of government policies toward our Aboriginal peoples is a sad one. Through reconciliation, we will not right the wrongs of the past, but we will be able to come together to build a better future for us all.

As part of the national event, I proclaimed, on behalf of City Council and the Citizens of Calgary, The Year of Reconciliation. This is the first time The City of Calgary has made a year-long proclamation; it is a significant gesture for a significant period in our history.

Proclamation

Whereas: The Story of Moh’kinsstis says that before there was the place we call Calgary, the First Peoples were stewards of this land. At the confluence of two rivers, the lifeblood of our city, our cultures converged and our story began;

Whereas: The first European settlers did not honour the unique culture of our Aboriginal ancestors. Aboriginal people were isolated from their traditional and spiritual ways. This is exemplified by the many thousands of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their homes and taken to residential schools, but is also evident in many other examples of disenfranchisement;

Whereas: The effects of government policies toward Aboriginal peoples have had a tremendously negative impact on our city and country. Canada has been denied the benefit of the contribution of First Nations to our collective history. Our story cannot be complete without listening to this voice;

Whereas: Reconciliation is an opportunity for us to advance with a greater understanding of the historical impacts that have shaped the experiences of Aboriginal people to date. It will not right the wrongs of the past, but is the start of our journey, together;

Whereas: The City of Calgary will use the lessons of reconciliation to continue the work we have started through the Listening Circles of the Calgary Urban Aboriginal Initiative, the Calgary Aboriginal Urban Affairs Committee, the imagineCalgary Plan, and the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative to ensure that our Aboriginal population has a meaningful role within our community, as full and equal participants in our city’s quality of life;

Whereas: It is essential that Calgarians of every culture and tradition walk on a shared path paved with opportunity, recognizing that we are connected to each other and to this place, where our collective spirit generates enough for all.

On behalf of City Council and the citizens of Calgary,
I hereby proclaim March 27, 2014 – March 27, 2015 as:

The Year of Reconciliation

[signed]
Naheed K. Nenshi
Mayor

This proclamation was also supported with letters from Tourism Calgary, Calgary Stampede, and Calgary Economic Development.