Indigenous Reconciliation

Suburbs

The City of Kitchener is situated upon the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee Peoples. 

We extend our respect to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples for their past and present contributions to this land. We also recognize and respect the cultural diversity that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people bring to the City of Kitchener.

Background
In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings and 94 Calls to Action to redress the residential schools legacy and advance the reconciliation process in Canada. The Calls to Action are directed at all levels of government, the private sector and to Canadians as a whole.

In 2019, Kitchener City Council directed staff to proceed with the implementation of the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action starting with two priorities:

1. Introduce a territorial acknowledgement at the commencement of Council to signal a commitment to responding to the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action and to demonstrate respect for the ongoing relationships we are building; and

2. The implementation of a training program for staff and Council that will increase Indigenous competency at an organizational level, resulting in improved customer service and increased capacity of non-Indigenous staff across the organization to work respectfully and appropriately on Indigenous initiatives in a municipal context.

In August 2020, Kitchener council unanimously approved a report which outlines next steps in the reconciliation journey including:

  • Development of a Reconciliation Action Plan

  •  Investigate and develop a policy to support the access and use of public spaces by Indigenous peoples to carry out cultural and ceremonial practices.

  • Until a policy is developed, all fees associated with rentals for space associated with Indigenous  events are being waived.
Huron Natural Area - Indigenous Outreach and Parks Engagement Project
  • This Indigenous-led, city supported project will take place within the Huron Natural Area and focus on gathering input about access and use of parks and feedback from local First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
  • Through this work, we are trying to better understand how parkland can become part of the everyday experience of and be reflective of the urban Indigenous population.  We will explore areas of cultural ceremony and celebration, stewardship and land restoration and education and learning through events, activities, art, and various festivals.
  • More project updates and details will be shared shortly. If you would like more information, you can also connect with our Parks Engagement Associate. 

 O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp, Victoria Park

Members of the local Indigenous community have been gathered on lands within Victoria Park since late June 2020. Victoria and Waterloo parks hold an important place in local Indigenous history and traditions.

Known as the O:se Kenhionhata:tie Land Back Camp, this group of Indigenous people is gathering peacefully in solidarity and celebration, and to advance reconciliation actions.

Out of respect for this space and those gathering on it, please avoid visiting uninvited.

City of Kitchener staff, elected officials, and Land Back Camp organizers continue to meet regularly to discuss and determine next steps and how we can move forward together. These conversations will be ongoing and will take some time.

 Upcoming Events and Activities

Orange Shirt Day - Wednesday September 30, 2020
  • Orange shirt day is an annual day to raise awareness and show support of survivors of the residential school system.  
  • This date was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes and forced into residential schools.  It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and create hope for the generations of children to come.
  • Learn more about Orange Shirt Day and how you can get involved and show your support. 

 

 

 

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