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OTTAWA ABORIGINAL COALITION
Aboriginal Working Committee
In 2007, City Council approved the creation of the Aboriginal Working Committee (AWC), a partnership with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition (OAC), the Ottawa Police Services, the United Way and the Ottawa District School Board. Since its inception, the AWC has focused on building relationships with Aboriginal community agencies and residents, and enhancing service delivery for the Aboriginal Community in Ottawa.
For more information on this committee, please visit the AWC website.
February 1, 2018
Dear community members and partners,
On behalf of the City of Ottawa management and staff, and as Co-chair of the Aboriginal Working Committee, I wish to extend a warm welcome to everyone attending the Aboriginal Community forum.
Over the past year and a half, the Community and Social Services department has been working together with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, community partners and staff from across the City of Ottawa to consider how we can work together on a reconciliation journey. We have listened to one another and reflected on actions that could form the City’s response to Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ (TRC) Calls to Action.
With the support of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, we have met with urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders and Traditional Teachers and with Algonquin Anishinabe representatives from both the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. Their views and perspectives serve as key principles and values to guide us on this journey. They include:
Leadership starts and stops with the ability to have a conversation
Focus on relationships and create opportunities for people to share their stories
Respect and trust are key
Focus on youth, as they will bring back the Aboriginal cultures
Involvement of the Elders makes a difference (to share history and culture).
Action is important (the community needs to see tangible results), at the same time rethink the “big picture” (also work on structural changes)
Reconciliation is not about “doing for” but “doing with” the Indigenous community (do not lecture or consult, but engage and involve the community)
We are so thankful to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit community partners who have patiently worked with us. Several City departments are already integrating reconciliation activities into their plans and operations and we look forward to presenting other suggested actions to City Council for consideration in February 2018.
I look forward to continuing our shared journey towards reconciliation.
Community and Social Services
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