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North Battleford, Town Of Battleford sign declaration to fight racism, discrimination in their communities

The Mayors of North Battleford and Battleford, along with leaders from First Nations in the area, were together on Finlayson Island last week to join forces on a nation-wide anti-discrimination plan.

On June 30th, Mayors David Gillan and Leslie Amie signed to join the Canadian Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities. The two are now part of an 82 community group that will seek the elimination of racial discrimination, the promotion of social inclusion, and support human rights and diversity.

Among those in attendance were chiefs representing the First Nations making up the Battlefords Regional Community Coalition, along with Glen McCallum, President of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan.

As part of the organization, both the town of Battleford and the City of North Battleford will be hammering out plans to meet the 10 Common Commitments of the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, which fall under three categories.

The first facet of these commitments says the municipality should increase vigilance against systemic and individual racism and discrimination. It states that the community should “monitor racism and discrimination in the community more broadly, as well as municipal actions that are taken to address racism and discrimination.”

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It also calls on municipalities like the Battlefords to support individuals who experience racism and discrimination, along with policing services in their efforts to combat racism and discrimination.

The second step calls on a municipality to make sure there are equal opportunities as a municipal employer, service provider and contractor, support measures to promote equality in the labour market and challenge discrimination while promoting diversity in housing.

Finally, the third step asks that included areas get the public involved, giving them a voice in anti-racism initiatives and decision-making, promote diversity and inclusion in the education and learning sector, and promote respect, understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity and the inclusion of Indigenous and racialized communities into the cultural fabric of the municipality.

North Battleford Mayor David Gillan said in a statement that by becoming a part of this coalition, they join a worldwide initiative to create inclusive, racism-free communities, and the City will engage in a shared process that leads to access, inclusion, equity and justice for all residents.”

The Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities was founded by UNESCO in 2005.

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