The Wîcihitowin Aboriginal Engagement Conference took place in Saskatoon last week — an event which drew attention to issues relevant to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal participants.
The Conference focussed on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s ‘Calls to Action’, with the work being done in communities across Saskatchewan.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere attended the session. He says the conversation was blunt at times, but Fougere says it’s the process of healing.
“An opportunity about engaging First Nations people, indigenous people in our community,” Fougere said. “But also talking about Truth and Reconcilliation. What Regina has done to promote that cause.”
Fougere says the conference was vital to rebuilding and repairing relationships with the Indigenous peoples.
“My view is that, in order to have reconcilliation, you need to have the truth,” Fougere said. “And that’s really what this is all about. It’s another venue for hearing the truth about how Indigenous peoples feel. What they wen through. What their experiences were.”
Fougere says discussion at the Wîchitowin Aboriginal Engagement Conference was frank.
“The coversations we were having were respectful, from the heart and very blunt,” Fougere said. “But very respectful. Most of the non-indigenous people i have talked to accept this as being a process of healing and coming together as a community.”
Fougere says Regina is working towards the creation of a Community Action Plan which is long-term community blueprint that will ensure Regina is more diverse and inclusive.