TRC final report a 'record of truth' for Canada, Regina's history: tribal council chief

Edmund Bellegarde, File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council chief, and Regina Mayor Michael Fougere signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday, moving the city closer to reconciliation.

New MOU aims to address lack of understanding and recognition of previous agreements

Edmund Bellegarde said the TRC final report was a 'record of truth' and an important part of Regina and Canada's history. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's final report is an important part of both Canada and Regina's history, says Edmund Bellegarde, who called it a "record of truth." 

Bellegarde, the chief of the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council, signed an agreement on Wednesday with Regina Mayor Michael Fougere called the Protocol of Recognition, Partnership and Respect.

The memorandum of understanding commits the city and the tribal council to work on joint initiatives to recognize and celebrate diversity within the community.

"This new agreement speaks to a more vibrant, more applicable discussion," Fougere said, adding that the agreement was an acknowledgement of the work that still needs to be done within the city.

Fougere said the agreement acknowledges Regina has more to do when it comes to working with the Indigenous community within the city. (Kirk Fraser/CBC )

Bellegarde spoke about agreements between Indigenous populations and governments in the past. He said there has been a lack of understanding and recognition when it comes to the legal frameworks that have shaped the lives of the Indigenous communities. 

"Those governing systems didn't recognize or didn't serve all of the interests of all of its people that it was intended to. Reconciliation — the most important part of that is that peaceful coexistence," Bellegarde said. 

"We can't have that peaceful coexistence if there continues this misunderstanding, if there continues to be this lack of recognition of some of the challenges and the rights and the histories we have as Indigenous peoples."

​The agreement is also part of the two organizations working toward honouring the 94 calls to action within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report. 

"We have long discussions to have on our treaties and how we need to honour those," Fougere said.