City of Yellowknife hires Indigenous relations adviser to guide reconciliation
Maggie Mercredi to take on the newly established role
The city of Yellowknife has hired an Indigenous relations adviser — a first for the city.
Maggie Mercredi will take on the newly established role, which is intended to provide guidance on how the city can "enhance relationships with Indigenous peoples and governments," according to a news release.
The statement said Mercredi will also "embed reconciliation into our core practices and decision-making — from programs, to services and strategies."
The city previously said it had secured money from Indigenous Services Canada to fund the position for an 18-month term A city spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that Mercredi has been hired for that term, though the city "is actively looking for ways to extend the position."
Mercredi is Denesoline and lives in Yellowknife. According to a biography on the NWT Wellness Society website, she's worked in communities across the North and in the South as a counsellor and administrator in community wellness, addictions, healing and recovery.
Mercredi owns Ravenessence Consulting, which facilitates reconciliation activities, like the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, which walks participants through 500 years of history of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
"Reconciliation happens when we build bridges, honour our relationships and commit to changes together," Mercredi said in the statement.
She's tasked with creating an action plan on reconciliation that will be used by all city departments. She'll also work to develop best practices and make recommendations on how the city makes decisions.
"Maggie will enhance our work as leaders and role models in our relations with Indigenous people, groups, organizations and governments," Mayor Mark Heyck said in the statement.