By Jensen, Randy on June 17, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge raised the Blackfoot Confederacy flag over city hall on Monday to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Week which culminates with National Indigenous People’s Day on Sunday.
About a dozen City representatives and citizens came out to help hoist the flag after a traditional blessing and prayer from Elder Peter Weasel Moccasin.
Mayor Chris Spearman reiterated his message conveyed during the Black Lives Matters protests in recent weeks.
“When we talk about being in Blackfoot territory, we talk about being in the land of the Blackfoot people, past, present and future,” stated Spearman. “And today I would be remiss if I did not also raise the issue of racism. As I said last week, racism has been part of our past. We want to make sure it is not part of our future.”
Spearman touted the work of the City’s Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee for helping move the goalposts forward for better relations and understanding between local First Nations people and others in the community.
“I think we can all commit to a better future for all of us; for all of our children, for all who choose to live here, for all whose ancestors have lived here for centuries,” he said.
Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee co-chair Treena Tallow also expressed her own hope for better relations and greater racial harmony going forward in Lethbridge.
“I want to acknowledge our elders, and everyone who is contributing to this kind of work,” she said. “Last year we were able to establish a lot of good work toward good relations. National Indigenous People’s Week is always a significant week, and I would like to take the opportunity to help embody those (traditional) values and support our people in good ways. And help support other people in understanding how to help each other.”
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