Edmonton city councilors unanimously approved a new effort Wednesday that aims to make the city a more supportive and welcoming place for Indigenous people.
During a city council meeting, Councilor Aaron paquette laid out the deep trauma and intergenerational impacts the city’s work aims to address, and he thanked everyone for approving the plan.
“The pain and injustice that is visited especially on the women is horrific, and it has painted the narratives by which our societies function today,” said an emotional Paquette, who is Metis.
While consulting with local Indigenous women, Edmonton plans to act on all 94 calls to justice laid out in the MMIWG report, even those that don’t directly apply to city governments, City Manager Andre Corbould said.
Staff are creating an Indigenous peoples’ awareness campaign to help educate Edmontonians about the past and current struggles in the community.
There’s also an Indigenous housing strategy, anti-racism training for city staff, and a commitment to short, medium and long-term actions on discrimination.
Edmonton also wants to establish an Indigenous ombudsperson position. That person would investigate allegations of discrimination and racism.
“I share that feeling where people are saying, ‘Enough words, we need action’. That is why today’s motion is so important, asking administration to develop an action plan,” Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said.
The city will determine the budget and how exactly it will be spent during budget talks this fall.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson