Regarding Canada Day 2021
Last week, we were asked to consider cancelling the Canada Day fireworks show. We chose not to cancel them, and our decision left many of you feeling disrespected and disregarded, especially the Indigenous residents of Altona. Our goal with the large, multi-site fireworks display was to give the community something to look forward to, and enjoy safely at home during a tough year when our in-person events such as the Sunflower Festival are unable to go ahead. While the intention of the fireworks show was not to cause harm to our Indigenous community, we recognize and acknowledge that it has, and we are deeply sorry that the decision that we made has added to your pain
So what now?
We are committed to answering the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #57, which asks municipal governments to provide education to public servants on Indigenous history. We will be providing access to those education opportunities for our staff and Council teams, starting with a course from the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute. We are also engaging in intentional and meaningful conversations with Indigenous Peoples in our community, and are committed to listening and learning from those conversations.
We are also committed to continuing to offer municipal resources and partnership to our neighbours at Roseau River Anishinaabe First Nation as opportunities arise to do so. We don’t have all of the answers, but we know that we have a lot to learn and work to do to repair broken relationships. Let’s do better – together.