Tuesday, May 01, 2018

First Nations' Engagement

The CAO of City of Elliot Lake has the following message and invitation for our club regarding First Nations’ Engagement.  RVSP is handy but not essential.  Please call or text me at 827-1065 to let me know if you are planning to attend so that I can get back with a numbers count attending from our club.
Thanks, Laura  

The City of Elliot Lake is in the process of rejuvenating our relationship with all our neighbours, including the First Nations of Serpent River and Mississauga. After all, we’ve all been using their traditional territory in varying degrees for decades since our municipal version of Elliot Lake began in the 1950s. More specifically, we are talking to the Serpent River First Nation (SRFN) on a number of new projects and small but noteworthy mutually beneficial initiatives. One of them is the addition of “aanii” to the English and French welcome sign as one enters Elliot Lake. A small but important gesture given how our communities are linked in so many ways.     

As part of that overall effort, we are hosting a blanket exercise. This is a process where a SRFN member will lead a group of us through the history of First Nations in Canada in a format that we have not been taught in school from pre-contact to today. This is a very important tool to help us better understand where they are coming from and hopefully improve our burgeoning relationship through mutual understanding and awareness.

At a minimum, we will have Council and several city staff participating but we are also extending the invitation to any trails / outdoor recreation stakeholder groups. The more the merrier, I’m told we can go as high as 100 people. Right now we’re at about 20-25.

The exercise takes about 90 minutes to run through and will be at the VFJ school gym on Tuesday, May 8th at 2 pm.