Town of Cobourg Honours National Indigenous Peoples Day
Cobourg, ON (June 21, 2022) – In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Town of Cobourg Equity, Diversity, and Inclusions office has introduced opportunities to learn more about the diverse culture, voices and history of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.
Celebrated annually on June 21, during the summer solstice, when the Earth’s poles have the maximum tilt towards the sun, National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada. As part of its commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, (EDI) the Town of Cobourg is committed to providing Indigenous Awareness Training through Indigenous Awareness Canada to all Council and Senior Staff Members, which has been in progress since March 2021, and to building stronger relationships with members of our Indigenous community. “That commitment includes acknowledging the truths and learning from the shared stories of the community so that we can continue the path towards reconciliation and justice,” says Yasmyn Belle, Town of Cobourg Accessibility, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Coordinator.
The Town of Cobourg EDI Strategy, 2022 – 2026 provides a framework to allow municipal staff to better understand, engage, serve, and respond to the needs of our increasingly diverse community. Broken into three phases, phase one is focused on the Internal Strengthening of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Town of Cobourg Accessibility and EDI Coordinator, with the support of the Town of Cobourg EDI Committee is implementing educational programming to build the pathway to reconciliation for Town staff and residents.
Equity Diversity and Inclusion Lunch and Learns
As an opportunity to develop cultural awareness and greater understanding, the Town of Cobourg Accessibility and EDI Coordinator will be hosting a series of Lunch and Learn sessions for staff and members of the public. EDI Lunch and Learns serve as an opportunity for Town of Cobourg staff, Council and community members to engage in thought provoking and educational sessions on important topics in the EDI world. “We hope that with the introduction of these Lunch and Learns, staff will feel empowered to incorporate their learnings into their own practices, programs and services which will ultimately trickle down into the community and broaden our inclusive scope,” says Belle. “In the future we hope to open these workshops up to the public, so everyone has access to these very informative sessions.”
The EDI Lunch and Learn sessions will begin in June with a staff only session. The topic of discussion will be Indigenous History Month with a refined focus on the definition and goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and how the staff of the Town of Cobourg play a very important role in responding to the nine goals that specifically relate to Canadian municipalities.
Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action
Through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Pathways to Reconciliation the Town of Cobourg is working towards nine calls to action to help in rebuilding the Nation to Nation relationship. For further information, the nine Call to Action can be found on the Town of Cobourg Equity Diversity and Inclusion website.
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
In November of 2021, Cobourg Municipal Council endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Town of Cobourg. This declaration will provide the framework for the Town to use in its on-going process of reconciliation with local First Nations and urban Indigenous peoples in the Town of Cobourg.
Indigenous ‘7 Feathers’ Crosswalk
Located at Second Street and Albert Street, the Town of Cobourg has repainted the Indigenous ‘Seven Feathers’ Crosswalk. The crosswalk features seven feathers, representing the seven guiding principles adopted by many Indigenous communities and organizations, which are Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Humility, Truth and Wisdom.
To educate residents and guests of Cobourg about Indigenous culture and heritage, the Town of Cobourg will incorporate the 7 Feathers Crosswalk into cultural programming. Those visiting the Cobourg Waterfront Festival this year can note the crosswalk on their event map as well as the Town will be incorporating information about the crosswalk into future self-guided and guided walking tours.
Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee
For more information about the Town of Cobourg Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion program, including the Town’s Commitment to Truth, Reconciliation and Justice, please visit the municipal website.