City of Regina votes unanimously to act on TRC recommendations

The city of Regina has voted unanimously to create a report on ways the city can begin acting on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Motion sets Dec. 31 deadline for report outlining what actions city should adopt

Council approved the mayor's motion on Tuesday evening. (CBC)

The City of Regina has voted unanimously to begin acting on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Council approved a motion Tuesday that will see city administration create a report by the end of 2016 outlining what actions the city should adopt under the TRC's call to action. 

Mayor Michael Fougere brought forward the motion at a council meeting Tuesday evening. Fougere said the report will look to pay service to those who were affected by residential schools. 

Residential school survivor Ivy Kennedy spoke at the meeting. Kennedy commended the mayor and council for moving forward with the recommendations of the commission. 

"The impacts on our people from the residential school is humongous. So when the City of Regina comes and puts advertisements in the paper that they're going to do something about the recommendations from the commission, I applaud you," Kennedy said.  

Fougere's motion noted that the city supports the reconciliation process between aboriginal people and leaders. 

As well, it said that the city commits to review the TRC calls to action and "to implement a strategy of potential remedies for those recommendations that reside within the jurisdiction of local governments."

Fougere requested that the administration focus on three main issues, although he said the report is not limited to them.

1) Regina Indian Industrial School

It's believed that a cemetery near the old Regina Indian Industrial School may hold as many as 40 children's unmarked graves in the city's far west side. Several groups have been working to get recognition and protection for the site over the past few years.

A report was submitted to council with information about the site. Fougere pledged that council would take action to resolve the issue.

"This is a concrete way for us to make steps to adjust the grievances that are in [the recommendations]," Fougere said. 

2) Diversity and inclusion committee

The city says it plans to form a diversity and inclusion committee and strategy.

This would be done in part to address how the city shows respect and gratitude to First Nations people internally.

3) Cultural and artistic inclusion

Regina will also be examining how First Nations culture can be infused into the creative side of the city.

"We want this cultural part to be infused by our First Nations and aboriginal people, so they feel their art, their poetry is expressed within our city and honoured," Fougere said.

The report will be undertaken by the city manager's office with support from city services and the community services department. 

It's due Dec. 31 this year. 

With files from CBC's Evan Radford