Councillor wants Indigenous relations office in Calgary
Brian Pincott says it's the next step as the city works on reconciliation
One Calgary councillor says the next step in the city's move toward reconciliation should be the establishment of an Indigenous relations office.
Brian Pincott, who is not seeking re-election in October, said raising the Treaty 7 flag permanently in front of city hall and renaming the Langevin Bridge are important symbolic gestures, but Calgary needs to take further action.
"Being willing to learn is demonstrated by partnerships, is demonstrated by action on the ground," he said. "And we need an Indigenous relations office that is very public, that will help us, will lead us in that."
Pincott said right now the city only has one staff member who deals with Indigenous issues, even though Calgary has had an urban affairs committee since 1979, established to make recommendations to city council regarding the needs of First Nations citizens.
"We've been really clear around policy and being committed to working with our Treaty 7 partners — our Treaty 7 neighbours — to working with all Indigenous peoples within the urban setting," he said.
"But we actually need to make sure that we have a place for it."
Other cities have established more formal offices, including Edmonton.
Pincott will put his idea before city council on Monday.