On Tuesday, the Lethbridge City Council voted unanimously to advance the Indigenous Place-making Strategy six months ahead from the originally-scheduled start. The strategy is designed to review and audit public spaces, markers and language to create a more inclusive community for everyone. Councillor Jeff Coffman, says truth and reconciliation will play a big role in making these changes.
“Moving the place-making strategy forward means that we can start it sooner. The value for the community is very much about us having a conversation in the context of our community as it currently exists, our Indigenous residents, our Indigenous neighbours, and society as a whole. Not just ‘I’m sorry’ and renaming things because that’s not true reconciliation, it’s really about building relationships.”
Perry Stein, Indigenous Relations Advisor with the City of Lethbridge, says “An important aspect of reconciliation is truth and we often don’t spend enough time in that truth space, understanding all the events that have led up to the current realities of today. So moving this project forward allows us to be responsive to the growing community interest in truth telling and reconciliation and to do some good work internally to understand how the city can be more responsive to the community.”
A full review will be presented to council with the findings of the public spaces and recommendations for further action, no later than February 2022.