The Town of Canmore made its first commitment to completing aspects to the calls to action in 2017. An update was previously provided to council in 2019, with further goals established in reaching specific calls to action.
The original framework aimed to help the municipality advance its process for reconciliation, strengthen relationships with the Stoney Nakoda Nation and create a cultural space to better include Indigenous peoples.
“It’s really important we take this time and opportunity to not only remind council, but our community the leadership the Town of Canmore is taking on Indigenous relations,” Mayor John Borrowman said. “I hope all the candidates for council seats are watching this meeting – I’d be surprised if they weren’t – it’s a good review for future councillors of the work the Town has been doing and the level of importance we’ve placed on this work.”
When the commitment was made in 2017, a municipal working group of about 10 staff members was established to help identify key themes as well as develop staff training and a proper protocol for staff.
In 2017, the group found 16 of the 94 calls to action could be worked on by the municipality. The actions involved child welfare concerns, education, language and culture and professional training and development for public sector staff.
Among the recent actions by the Town was language and cultural inclusion for the mountain name signs at Town hall to be translated into Stoney, the 2021 public art banner project and adding a member from a Treaty 7 nation to the cultural advisory committee.
Land acknowledgements were added for events and public meetings, as well as members of the Stoney Nakoda administration regularly attending the Town’s internal truth and reconciliation working group and a memorandum of understanding to be established between the Town and the Stoney Nakoda to improve existing relationships.
The Town of Canmore recognized National Truth and Reconciliation Day as a statutory holiday and also provided funding for a community commemorative event.
“I want to commend you on the work, the FCCSC (Family and Community Support Services Resource Centre) department, they’ve just done a great job and they have a really good understanding of the importance of the work and how important it is,” Coun. Esmé Comfort said.
Sally Caudill, the Town’s general manager of municipal services, said staff would be working with the incoming council to set priorities for its four-year term.
The report noted three additional calls to action will be asked of the new council. They include working with all levels of government to not rely entirely on European government policies, laws and litigation strategies.
The other two calls were to work with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to collect all records on the history and legacy of residential schools and to develop and implement ways to commemorate and protect residential school cemeteries.
“You lose sight over time of all that we have accomplished,” Borrowman said. “I think what the Town of Canmore has been doing is significant.”