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City urged to create new Indigenous advisor position

Part of an effort to ‘enhance the pillars of a progressive community’
Civic Centre. Stock image by Zack Trunzo/Village Media

Ward 3 Coun. Ron Zagordo is asking city council to consider hiring an Indigenous policy and process renewal advisor.

The new hire would report to the Sault's chief administrative officer, Zagordo proposes in a resolution to be discussed at Monday's city council meeting.

Zagordo's resolution, which is seconded by Ward 5 Coun. Corey Gardi, says little about the advisor's role, but suggests the Bawaating Indigenous Advisory Council be asked to help develop the job description.

Monday's city council meeting will be live-streamed on SooToday starting at 5 p.m.

Councillors will also get their first look at a preliminary operating budget that would prompt a levy increase of 7.2 per cent.

The following is the full text of the resolution to be discussed:

Indigenous policy and process renewal advisor

Mover: Coun. R. Zagordo
Seconder: Coun. C. Gardi

Whereas Bawaating is the historical sacred gathering place of all Anishinaabe (Indigenous) people since time immemorial; and

Whereas the First Peoples (Ojibway, Metis and Inuit) of this area have for centuries sought peace and friendship with settlers and shared resources and ways of knowing; and

Whereas the City of Sault Ste. Marie is committed to pillars of a progressive community, including improving respectful relations, inclusion, and the prosperity of Indigenous community members; and

Whereas outreach to neighbouring communities and partner agencies has been ongoing throughout this and previous terms of council through various channels, including the Bawaating Indigenous Advisory Council and the Community Economic Development Initiative facilitated economic development training program; and

Whereas in an effort to enhance the pillars of a progressive community, the City of Sault Ste. Marie wishes to engrain improvements to the processes and policies at City Hall into the corporate structure of the municipality;

Now therefore be it resolved that the chief administrative officer be requested to develop a job description for an indigenous policy and process renewal advisor that reports directly to the chief administrative officer and that the Bawaating Indigenous Advisory Circle be requested to review and provide feedback on the job description before it returns to council for further discussion and direction on implementing such an advisory position.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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