Board of Trustees Approves Policy 19: Acknowledging Territories of Indigenous Communities within Division Events

  Posted: November 16, 2016

At the November 15th Regular Board Meeting, the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division (HFCRD) Board of Trustees passed motions to approve the second and third readings of Policy 19: Acknowledging Territories of Indigenous Communities within Division Events, which was given first reading at the October 18th Regular Board Meeting.  This policy states that the traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people will be acknowledged at the beginning of every public event or public meeting hosted by the division, and was created in response to Call to Action 69 that was included in the report created by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  HFCRD strongly supports the outcomes of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and is committed to doing its part by including the next generations in the reconciliation process.

“The HFCRD Board of Trustees is pleased to approve Policy 19.  We firmly believe this policy is a big step forward for our division and shows our strong support of reconciliation,” said Board Chair Kelly Whalen.  “We encourage all public bodies across Canada to implement similar policies that align with the recommendations that resulted from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”

Policy 19 states that at every public event hosted by HFCRD, the generally accepted acknowledgement will be as follows: “Holy Family Catholic Regional Division Board would like to acknowledge we are meeting today in _______ located within the ancestral and traditional territory of the Indigenous peoples of this area. This land has been and will continue to be home to the Cree, Dene and other First Nations and of the Métis within the boundaries of Treaty 8. We also wish to acknowledge the traditional knowledge holders and Elders who are still with us today and those who have gone before us.”  Public events will include Board Meetings, School Council Meetings, public school events, and many others.  The accompanying Administrative Procedure is currently in the draft stages and will be implemented across the division in the coming months.

HFCRD thanks stakeholders for their valuable feedback after the first reading of Policy 19.  Trustees were pleased that all feedback received was positive in nature.  Some feedback included:

“I think that this is an excellent way to honour the First Nations and Métis people within our school community. I think it demonstrated the respect we have for the children we teach as well as their parent(s), guardian(s) and grandparent(s).”

“I love the new policy and look forward to sharing it.”

Policy 19 can be found here.