Collingwood receives support from FCM for Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action – Missing Children and Unmarked Graves Resolution
The Town of Collingwood has received some welcoming news, following the Resolution Plenary session of the Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) 2022 Annual Conference this past weekend.
For the second consecutive Annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM, FCM has placed a resolution submitted by the Town of Collingwood on its agenda for consideration by the entire FCM membership. The resolution was overwhelmingly passed at the event June 4th, 2022.
“I was pleased and proud to be in attendance at the AGM to speak to the Town’s resolution,” says FCM Director and Collingwood Councillor, Kathy Jeffery.
The resolution urges FCM to call on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to address Calls to Action 71 to 76, including but not limited to providing sufficient funding and resources and Federal Government oversight to ensure collaborative efforts with Indigenous communities across Canada to achieve these.
The development and implementation of strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites is vital.
“FCM staff contributed to the analysis highlighting the importance of reaffirming the Federation’s commitment ‘to continuing to play a crucial role in addressing the legacy of the residential school system,’ and go on to confirm that the resolution ‘will help FCM to build meaningful relationships with Indigenous organizations, support membership in building local capacity to advance reconciliation, as well as to develop a plan on reconciliation with the Big City Mayors Caucus engagement’.” explained Councillor Jeffery.
FCM staff will submit the resolution to the relevant Federal Minister and the matter will remain part of FCM policy work for 3 years.
WHEREAS, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created in 2007 as a result of the settlement of the Indian Residential Schools class action lawsuit, the largest class action in Canada’s history;
WHEREAS, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report in 2015, and devoted Volume 4 of the report to “Missing Children and Unmarked Graves”;
WHEREAS, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission as part of its findings in Volume 4 the report, “identified 3,200 deaths on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Register of Confirmed Deaths of Named Residential School Students and the Register of Confirmed Deaths of Unnamed Residential School Students”;
WHEREAS, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued 94 Calls to Action and Calls 71 –76 under the heading, “Missing Children and Unmarked Graves”, call on the Federal Government together with other orders of government to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities across Canada to, “develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried”;
WHEREAS, It has been 6 years before the recent discoveries of 966 unmarked graves of Indigenous children at the sites of former residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan and we know this tragic work is just starting; and WHEREAS, After 6 years only 10 Calls to Action have been completed; therefore be it RESOLVED, That FCM call on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to address
Calls to Action 71 to 76 including but not limited to:
i. Allocate sufficient resources to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to allow it to develop and maintain the National Residential School Student Death Register;
ii. Inform the families of children who died at residential schools of the child’s burial location, and to respond to families’ wishes for appropriate commemoration ceremonies and markers, and reburial in home communities where requested; and
iii. Work collaboratively with Indigenous communities across Canada to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried”.
It was announced at its Annual AGM that the Federation has reached yet another watermark moment with its membership, now including 2,067 Canadian Municipalities representing more than 93% of the Country’s population
FCM has been the national voice of municipal government since 1901. Members include more than 2,000 municipalities of all sizes, from Canada's cities and rural communities, to northern communities and 20 provincial and territorial municipal associations. Together, they represent more than 90 percent of all Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Municipal leaders from across Canada assemble each year to set FCM policy on key issues.
The Town of Collingwood is a progressive community located in the heart of a four-season recreation area on the southern shore of Georgian Bay. The area is well known for its many natural amenities and its rich heritage. Collingwood is a destination for tourism and many business, sporting and cultural events Collingwood acts as gateway to the South Georgian Bay region, with stunning landscapes that encourage an active lifestyle, and inspire the local arts and culture community. Downtown Collingwood might just surprise you with 30 plus restaurants, 60 plus boutique shops, spas for relaxing, live music for grooving…all in the only downtown core recognized in Canada’s Registrar of Historic Places! More recently, the harbourfront area is emerging as an extension to the downtown district. Plans for expanding the amenities and events in the harbourfront area promise to make this a much more prominent tourism destination.
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