Coun. Michael Diachuk. File Photo
City council has accepted the declaration from the Heart of Treaty 6 Reconciliation, and has authorized the mayor to sign the declaration.
There are two key areas of work the Heart of Treaty 6 aims to develop stronger relationships and trust among communities, organizations, and individuals.
“I think symbolically for our community this will be that starting point to say officially we are doing something, and I think more than anything this agreement will be the beginning of that process, the beginning of that journey,” said Coun. Michael Diachuk.
The Heart of Treaty 6 Reconciliation is a group of individuals, community-based organizations, governments and businesses from Onion Lake Cree Nation, Lloydminster, Frog Lake First Nation and Poundmaker Cree Nation.
A lot of the work will be focused in two main areas, education, and awareness.
“I think this shows to the city we are doing something,” said Diachuk. “More than anything it signals we are not out of step, and we want to be part of this process.”
Diachuk noted everybody is on their own journey when it comes to reconciliation, giving examples of North Battleford and Saskatoon.
“Everybody’s strategy looks a little different,” he added.
Dialogue, Diachuk said was at the forefront of what the Heart of Treaty 6 Reconciliation is about.
“It’s not about what any one person is going to do. Although you have a role to play if you are a member of this process and agreement, it’s usually done in concert with others. This isn’t about doing something to somebody else if you like it’s about doing stuff together to move that agenda forward,” he explained.
Signing on to the declaration was seen as a first step.
“It really is a starting point,” said Mayor Gerald Aalbers. “We have a relationship that dates back before 1867 in Western Canada, or Canada. There are so many pieces in that and this helps to bring some of those pieces together.”
Aalbers added he hopes signing the declaration would help showcase the diversity of the community.
“The face of our community is as diverse as many places in this country and I am very proud of that as the mayor, and I think we as a city can share that. There are challenges, but by the same token, there is an opportunity, and I think we can gain on those opportunities and work forward,” he said.