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Indigenous Initiatives

In the wake of the final report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), Saskatoon City Council on June 22, 2015 unanimously declared a “Year of Reconciliation” from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. The declaration resolves that the City adopt and implement the relevant calls to action in the report as well as work with community groups to promote reconciliation in our province.

The TRC Report issued 94 Calls to Action, nine of which apply directly and indirectly to municipal levels of government. The areas include language and culture, health, reconciliation, repudiation of European sovereignty, training for public servants, missing children and burial information, national Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and sports reconciliation (Recommendations 17, 23, 43, 47, 57, 75, 77, 87, 88).

On this page you will find more information about how the City of Saskatoon is responding to the Calls to Action and working to promote reconciliation in our community and our province.

Initiatives

Indigenous Engagement Employer Handbook

It’s time to Kîpa and Kakwayahook to better engage Indigenous participation in the economy from employment to partnerships to ownership, and to help ensure that Saskatchewan enjoys a diverse, resilient, and growing economy.

The Indigenous Engagement Employer Handbook strives to support employers in their reconciliation journey by providing guidance and practical options for employers seeking to improve their Indigenous workforce recruitment and retention outcomes. The handbook is based on a series of workshops and consultations held in early 2019 that included some of Saskatoon’s largest First Nation, Métis and non-Indigenous employers, employment, education and training institutions, business associations and community organizations.

While not every suggestion in the Handbook will be relevant for everyone, we hope that many of the suggestions will resonate with most employers.

In addition, we have produced a series of vignettes offering personal accounts from both employers and employees about their journeys in either engaging Indigenous people in the workforce or participating in it from an Indigenous perspective.

The Indigenous Engagement Employer Handbook responds to Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action #92 calling on the corporate sector to engage in meaningful consultation and develop respectful relationships with Indigenous communities and businesses as well as provide equitable access to jobs, training and educational opportunities to Indigenous peoples.

The Handbook is made possible through the support of community investors Nutrien, Affinity Credit Union and the Saskatoon Community Foundation. For more information, visit www.sacap.ca.

Watch Employer and Employee Perspectives:

SFNEDN - Charlie Clark - City of Saskatoon 
SFNEDN - Richard - City of Saskatoon 
SFNEDN - Brad - STC Industrial 
SFNEDN - Riley - STC Industrial 
SFNEDN - Jacine - Affinity 
SFNEDN - Chantel - Affinity  
SFNEDN - Chantel - SaskPoly Tech 
SFNEDN - Carm - Sask Community Foundation 
SFEDN - Milton - Nutrien 
SFNEDN - Aaron - Nutrien 
SFNEDN - Terry #1 - K+S Potash 
SFNEDN - Terry #2 - K+S Potash  
SFNEDN - Steven - KPCL  
SFNEDN - Mary - KPCL 
SFNEDN - Candace - U of S  
SFNEDN - Dana - UofS 
SFNEDN - Charles - Ramada  
SFNEDN - Kiley - Ramada  

Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation and National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2019

Reconciliation Flag Raising
Civic Square outside City Hall, 222-3rd Avenue North
May 24, 9:00 a.m.

National Indigenous Peoples Day & Walk for Reconciliation
Victoria Park, Spadina Crescent West
June 21, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Indigenous Technical Advisory Group

The City of Saskatoon is committed to building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and engaging them in meaningful dialogue on decisions that may impact them. In support of this commitment, the City of Saskatoon has formed a new Indigenous Technical Advisory Group (the Group) made up of for First Nations and Métis people with specialized knowledge. Find out more at saskatoon.ca/ITAG.

Name the North Commuter Parkway Bridge (NCP)

At its July 21, 2016 meeting, City Council committed to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Calls to Action, specifically Call to Action #79: to participate in a strategy to commemorate Aboriginal peoples’ history and contributions to Canada.

The Name the North Commuter Parkway Bridge (NCP) project provided the opportunity to do this by uniting the community and province in an act of reconciliation and engaging Saskatoon's citizens by asking them to share their ideas for bridge names. Under the City's Strategic Goal of Quality of Life, the naming process also supported the recognition of our built, natural, and cultural heritage.  

The naming process engaged First Nations and Métis Elders, Indian Residential School Survivors, Reconciliation Saskatoon as well as the naming process steering committee comprised of: City of Saskatoon, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Saskatoon Tribal Council, and Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.

On February 27, 2018, four names were gathered from the community and announced to the public at a special event at the Roxy Theatre with the screening of four educational vignettes (videos). The four shortlisted names were:

Chief Mistawasis
Louis Riel
Waniskâ
Wîcîhitowin

An online survey was open to the general public to provide feedback to the City from March 1 to March 30, 2018, as well as in-person engagement opportunities with a number of free public and community screenings held throughout March. All community feedback was considered before the final recommendation was made to City Council in August 2018.

Thank you to those who nominated our four shortlisted names:

Anthony J. Arnold N. Ashu M. G. Solo. Barbara B. Bryan F. Chris S. Dan H. Della G. Derek T. Don N. Donella H. Dylan R. Garry F. Hali B. Helene H. Jim X. Jordan D. Joshua D. JP R. Kari T. Ken M. Lauralee S. Matthew B. Mona D. Myra O. Priscilla W. Randall E. Sharon C. Tammy D. Tony T. Veronica C.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21, 2018, the North Commuter Parkway Bridge Naming Steering Committee announced “Chief Mistawasis” (miss-tuh-WAH’-sis) as the recommended name of the North Commuter Parkway Bridge. 

What was the criteria for naming the NCP bridge?

Nominations had to meet one of the following guidelines:
 

  • Historical Name acknowledging an Aboriginal historical event or figure.
  • Word or Concept that embodies the spirit of community, coming together or connection.

How was the name of the NCP bridge chosen?
  • First Nation and Métis Elders guided the cultural protocol for the naming project, including the blessing of the land which took place in May 2017.
  • Names were gathered from the community between September and October 2017.
  • Elders and Survivors reflected and deliberated on the list of names in order to determine a shortlist of four names.
  • The community was invited to watch a short educational vignette (video) on each of the four names and provide input online or in-person throughout March 2018.
  • Community feedback was considered before the final recommendation was made to City Council by the NCP Naming Steering Committee in August 2018.

For more information:
Report: North Commuter Parkway Bridge – Bridge Naming Engagement Process
Attachment: North Commuter Parkway Bridge Naming Process - Attachment 1
City Council Motion:  Councillor D. Hill - Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action Report
Engage page: Share your voice campaign

ayisiyiniwak: A Communications Guide

ayisiyiniwak [a/yi/see/ni/wak, Cree for ‘the people’]: A Communications Guide” (ayisiyiniwak) is part of the City’s commitment to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada’s Call to Action #57, which specifically calls upon governments to: “provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations.” 

Originally developed in 2017 as an educational resource for City employees to enhance their understanding of Indigenous culture and practices, copies of the guide have since been requested by organizations across Canada including government agencies, other municipalities, educational institutions and community groups.  

Visit the ayisiyiniwak webpage for more information and to download a copy of the guide.

Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters, September 30, 2019

Reconciliation Saskatoon is proud to support Orange Shirt Day on September 30 which aims to raise awareness of the devastating impact of the residential school system on Indigenous people and their families. We encourage everyone to show their support by wearing an orange t-shirt on Monday, September 30.

Remembering the history and legacy of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process for our community and responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada's (TRC) Call to Action.

 

Orange Shirt Day Speaker Event - Sept 26
Cosmo Civic Centre, 3130 Laurier Drive
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Come and experience the personal and moving story of an Indian Residential School Survivor. Afterwards, we invite guests to stay and connect over refreshments.

To register, visit: Eventbrite.ca.

Free Community Pancake Breakfast - Sept 30
Central Urban Metis Federation (CUMFI) Office, 315 Ave M South
8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Hosted by CUMFI, this event aims to honour Indian residential school survivors, Sixties Scoop survivors, Day School, MMIWG and Two-Spirited peoples.

Traditional Ceremonies & Mini Round Dance - Sept 30
White Buffalo Youth Lodge, 602 20th St W
3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Hosted by survivors and old people circle, the theme for the day is "Every Child Matters". This event will celebrate the children and families at three traditional ceremonies. Please join us for one or all three events.

Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference, October 16-17, 2019

October 16-17, 2019

TCU Place, 35-22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK
Treaty 6 and Homeland of the Métis

The 5th Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference invites community organizations, governments and businesses to learn about inclusive representation of Indigenous people as employees, volunteers and decision-makers. Within the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, if you’re working towards respectful Indigenous engagement and inclusion in a community-based setting, this conference is for you.

The conference will:

  • Provide organizations with resources to authentically engage Aboriginal people as employees and volunteers;
  • Support organizations working to incorporate Aboriginal values within program and service delivery settings, with the goal of creating culturally respectful organizations; and,
  • Highlight reconciliation efforts in Saskatoon

See the full program at Wicihitowin.ca. 

Reconciliation Saskatoon

The 98 member initiative, known as Reconciliation Saskatoon, joined together to further a citywide conversation about the process of Canadian reconciliation, provide opportunities for transformative experiences at events, and inspire citizens to engage in calls to action.

 

reconciliation

To have your Reconciliation event added to the calendar, please visit OTC.ca

More Information:
For the latest information and updates visit Reconciliation Saskatoon on Facebook: facebook.com/ReconciliationSaskatoon 
 Meaning of Reconciliation Saskatoon symbol
 Proposed Vision for Reconciliation in Saskatchewan

News Releases 2015-2019

2019:

Saskatoon’s Indigenous engagement conference announces 2019 speaker lineup
Employer Handbook launched to improve Indigenous Engagement
Pathway to Reconciliation: City and partners release ayisiyiniwak (second edition)
Traditional Indigenous teachings inspire design of new Transit shelter
Re-igniting the fire: Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation
Invitation to the community: fourth annual Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation
Reconciliation flag raised at City Hall honours Residential School era warriors
New ConnectR website inspires Saskatoon residents to choose their own path towards reconciliation

2018:

Yellow Quill First Nation Creates Second Urban Reserve in Saskatoon
Saskatoon’s aboriginal engagement conference encourages community organizations to take action
Saskatoon completes historic bridge-building project
Orange Shirt Day to honour survivors and descendants in Saskatoon

2017:

Saskatoon Launches Month-Long Series of Reconciliation Activities

2016:

Economic Development Forum Builds Local Métis Businesses
Wîcihitowin ‘Working Together’ to Build Relationships
Wîcihitowin Blanket Exercise Teaches Shared History
Community Kicks Off a Month-Long of Activities to Promote Reconciliation
Save the Date: Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation
Find Your Call to Action
Saskatoon Celebrates Day of Reconciliation

2015:

City & Community Partners Host Aboriginal Engagement Conference
Response Outlined to Truth & Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
Executive Committee Considers Kitaskinaw and Gathering Recommendations
Year of Reconciliation Begins July 1st 

Past Events
Wîcihitowin Speaker Series, March 30, 2017

Wîchitowin Aboriginal Engagement Conference, October 12-13, 2016

Learning from one another to build community

The Wîcihitowin Aboriginal Engagement Conference will focus on issues concerning Aboriginal engagement and human service delivery issues relevant to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants. If you’re working towards respectful Aboriginal engagement and inclusion within a community based setting, this conference is for you. This conference will:

  • Provide non-Aboriginal organizations with resources to assist in engaging the Aboriginal community as employees and volunteers.
  • Support organizations working to incorporate Aboriginal values within program and service delivery settings with the goal of creating culturally safe organizations.

TCU Place
35 22 St. East, Saskatoon, SK

More information available at www.unitedwaysaskatoon.ca

Purchase Tickets

Saskatchewan World Indigenous Festival for the Arts, August 24-25, 2016

The Saskatchewan World Indigenous Festival for the Arts will bring together different Indigenous cultures to promote cultural exchange, unity and reconciliation through music and the arts within a 2-day festival forAugust 24th and 25th, 2016 at Delta Bessborough Gardens in Saskatoon, SK.  The diverse Indigenous people of Saskatchewan will have the opportunity to work on the creation of joint performances, while inviting Indigenous artists and musicians from other provinces and countries to diversify the intercultural experience.

SWIFFA will be taking place alongside the 2016 World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF).

Fore more information, visit swiffa.ca

World Indigenous Business Forum, August 23-25, 2016

Taking place in Saskatoon, the World Indigenous Business Forum is a platform that engages Indigenous people in global economic discussions. There are four main sectors that focus on Global Indigenous Economic issues; Community, Industry, Academic and Government. Leaders in these sectors are sought out to share their knowledge with delegates.

For more information, including full agenda and to register, visit wibf.ca.