May 17th, 2024

City sharing tools for Truth and Reconciliation

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 18, 2021.


The Lethbridge Public Library and South Alberta FASD Network offered a zoom webinar called Allyship in Action on Wednesday, to share some tools and resources produced by the City of Lethbridge that are available to be utilized in the Truth and Reconciliation process.
Under the Reconciliation Initiatives section of the City of Lethbridge website, in the Resources and Toolkits sub-section, members of the community can download the Reconciliation Ally Toolkit and the MMIWG Toolkit.
The Reconciliation Toolkit provides an overview of Blackfoot Territory, history, and the concept of allyship. Within it, The Two Stories of City of Lethbridge can be found, where the Niitsitapii Truth-Telling and Settler Story are both shown to try to reconcile the truth.
Within the MMIWG Toolkit, a section on actions for residents, visitors, businesses and journalists can be found to learn more about the on-going tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit+ people.
City of Lethbridge Indigenous Relations Advisor, Perry Stein, explained that they worked with the City of Lethbridge Reconciliation Committee and members of the Blackfoot community, to develop the tone, what the outcomes of these toolkits should be, what messages they would like to convey within the community to encourage more allyship both from the perspective of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission but also the national inquiry.
“We’re really proud of what was produced,” said Stein.
He added that since the discovery of the unmarked graves in Kamloops earlier this year, a lot of community members, individuals, businesses or organizations have been trying to think about what they could be doing in their own personal lives or professional lives to embody allyship.
“So we hope that these resources will help people at whatever stage in that journey they’re at. If they’re just beginning there’s example actions that they can be taking just to start their journey,” said Stein.
He added that for those who are a bit further along, there are resources to help them take it to the next level.
“I think it’s important that we reflect so much Blackfoot language in these toolkits and encourage people to kind of get out of their comfort zone a little bit,” said Stein.
He added that they intentionally did not make it easy for people to learn how to say the language.
“It’s part of a call to action for them to build relationships to learn how to say these words, and to start incorporating the Blackfoot vocabulary into their daily lives,” said Stein.
This is the only place in the world where Blackfoot is spoken, and is the language of this territory.
“It’s important for people in the city to respect that and to use that language in a way to build relationships with Indigenous peoples in this area,” said Stein.

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