To advance reconciliation efforts, the City of Airdrie permanently located its Treaty 7 and Métis Nation flags in council chambers, and in front of City Hall, during a special ceremony held on Sept. 18.
The flag raising ceremony was attended by Elders, Knowledge Keepers and representatives from the Blackfoot Confederacy, including the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai Nations, Tsuut’ina Nation, Stoney Nation, Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3, members of city council and the local community.
“In our ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation, we are raising the flags to honour Treaty 7 First Nations and Métis Peoples. We have heard from Indigenous community members that this would be an important measure in solidifying relationships and building trust within the entire community, benefiting both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples," said Mayor Peter Brown.
In conjunction with this landmark event, the City of Airdrie also announced the creation of a new Heritage and Indigenous Relations team. The efforts of this team will help create a guiding strategy for the City and council to continue the relationship-building, learning, implementing change to achieve long-term reconciliation and relooking at land use through an archeological lens.
“We have taken significant steps in building relationships with the Indigenous community,” said Jennifer Lutz, team leader of Heritage and Indigenous Relations, in a statement released to local media. “One of the focus areas of our team would be Nose Creek. It is known to be an important archaeological area, so ensuring the traditional knowledge and land use assessment is captured would be key. Further, co-creating a strategy with Indigenous Peoples is an important next step to support Council’s vision in Airdrie’s truth and reconciliation journey.”