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SIGN Director calls on City to act on municipal aspects of Truth and Reconciliation Report

Councillor Randy Goulden makesmotion to accept report
Andrew Sedley, Executive Director, SIGN
YORKTON - Andrew Sedley Executive Director with the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN), appeared before the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday to encourage the City to become more involved with efforts in regards to Truth and Reconciliation. 

“As you are aware, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published 94 Calls to Action for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians to come together in a concerted effort to help repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation,” said Sedley 

“With the findings of Indigenous children’s unmarked graves across the country, I believe it is time that all of us, organizations within our city, and the municipality, to review those Calls to Action and develop concrete steps for these actions. In our community, we have many individual organizations committed to reconciliation, as well as a community group called Reconciliation Yorkton,” he detailed in a letter to Council. 

Specific to the municipality the Truth and Reconciliation Report issued nine calls to action which may apply directly and indirectly to municipal levels of government. 

“The areas include language and culture, health, reconciliation, repudiation of European sovereignty, training for public servants, missing children and burial information, national Centre for truth and Reconciliation, and sports reconciliation,” said Sedley. 

“Many of these Calls to Action, I believe from municipal aspect, are easily achievable, such as providing training to public servants, such as the 4 Seasons of Reconciliation that all SIGN staff and Board members complete,” he added. 

Others will involve the development of meaningful dialogue and working together as a community with our Indigenous partners, said Sedley. 

Sedley noted the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN) is committed to reconciliation and has a number of initiatives that we have adopted into our regular operations. 

In addition, there are a small number of cities across the country that have been designated as a “City of Reconciliation”, offered Sedley. 

“Many of these designations have been given to large urban communities. The City of Yorkton, despite our size, has been a leader in many different initiatives that have been recognized at both the provincial and national levels. I truly believe we have an ability, as a city and as partners, to be a leader in moving towards reconciliation. I ask that our elected officials and representatives of our citizens, through City Administration, review what is currently being done on reconciliation at the municipal level and develop a framework for reconciliation for our city.” 

Councillor Randy Goulden made a motion to accept the report and to ask City Administration to report back on how the City might address the nine recommendations specific to municipalities, and how Yorkton might go about being a ‘City of Reconciliation’. The motion was supported unanimously.