The City of Brantford honours and takes great pride in the rich history of Indigenous Peoples in the region and supports efforts to advance reconciliation and renew relationships based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
The City has continuously supported and worked within the parameters of the Grand River Notification Agreement with both the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation to ensure their respective interests are considered. The City recognizes the unique status and cultural diversity of Indigenous communities and are proud to stand with both nations, as well as the nearly 10,000 Indigenous people who call Brantford home, to support efforts to advance reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual respect and friendship.
At their meeting held October 26, 2021, Brantford City Council approved the newly created position of an Indigenous Affairs Advisor, who will help lead the City’s efforts to strengthen relationships with First Nations as well as urban Indigenous residents. The position will also lead the Indigenous community engagement process and subsequent development and implementation of the City of Brantford Reconciliation Action Plan. This plan will focus on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action that are within the City’s jurisdiction to adopt as well as other concrete actions the City can take in the spirit of reconciliation.
The City already has a number of programs, services and initiatives that can and should help support reconciliation with Indigenous peoples both inside and outside Brantford. The new Indigenous Affairs Advisor will also work to ensure these programs and services operate in accordance with the principles of reconciliation. They include: affordable housing and poverty reduction, public health, hiring practices and procurement, sport, economic development, and climate action, among others. Current examples of municipal actions that the City has already adopted include:
- Cultural and sensitivity training to City staff
- Supporting the Woodland Cultural Centre Save the Evidence campaign
- Development of an ongoing community education and awareness campaign that will be informed by Indigenous educational and cultural programming
- In collaboration with Six Nations of the Grand River, the month of June has been declared as a Regional Indigenous Education and Reflection Month in the City of Brantford, with the objective of educating the community regarding indigenous issues, history, language and culture
- Flags at all City facilities are lowered to half-mast on the first day of each month until the end of the calendar year in memory of the children who lost their lives at residential schools across Canada
- Supporting Six Nations of the Grand River in their advocacy at the Federal and Provincial level
“I am very encouraged by Council’s decisive support of this important position, brought forward by Councillor Wall” said Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis. “There is a lot of work to do to advance reconciliation and municipalities like Brantford have an important role to play. This new position is a key step to help ensure Council and City departments have the advice and input needed to develop and deliver on meaningful objectives in this time of reconciliation.”
The recruitment process to fill the new role will begin immediately with an expectation to fill the position by March 2022