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City talks reconciliation with the Heart of Treaty Six proposal

The city is looking at plans to continue the process of reconciliation talks with surrounding communities.

The Heart of Treaty Six is part of a truth and reconciliation undertaking where organizations and communities including Onion Lake Cree Nation, Lloydminster, Frog Lake Nation and Poundmaker Cree Nation hope to raise awareness and educate people about reconciliation.

Councillor Michael Diachuk says that there are challenges to overcome when negotiating with other communities.

“One of the challenges is that you know we can take a position and sort of sit there and transigent it and say its gonna be this way. The reality is is that we all have to get along and so there are benefits for all of us.”

Another goal of the program is to create diverse and inclusive workplaces and educational systems. Diachuk claims that by 2020 50 per cent of students in schools across Saskatchewan are going to be either Aboriginal or Metis.

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“The background, the math if you like, really says that we better get on this so that we have built an environment where it’s okay, it’s welcoming and we understand and accept one another and develop a commitment to work with each another.”

The Heart of Treaty Six says this proposal is one of talking, building trust and focusing on progress of the future. Mayor Gerald Aalbers believes this is an excellent opportunity to start a new conversation.

“Certainly there is a lot of history and we can’t undo history, but certainly we can try to improve on the history going forward.”

The proposal will be brought forward to council for a vote.

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