Indigenous flags fly high at Toronto city hall from now on
Flags one of many initiatives the city has undertaken to increase Indigenous presence and representation.
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Indigenous pride will fly high at City Hall. To mark this year's National Aboriginal Day and to permanently commemorate Toronto's location on Indigenous traditional land, the city will be raising flags from five First Nations on Wednesday at 6:30 a.m., with remarks from Mayor John Tory following at 6:45 a.m.
Flags representing the Mississaugas of the New Credit, Six Nations, Metis, Huron-Wendat and Inuit will fly permanently at Nathan Phillips Square, to honour the history, culture and achievement of Indigenous people.
The flags are not the only initiative the city has recently undertaken to increase Indigenous presence and representation at City Hall. Here's a rundown of what else is happening.
- Indigenous Affairs Officer: Mayor John Tory recently hired Lindsay Kreyschmer as a consultant in the city's office of equity and diversity. Her role is to liaise with local Indigenous communities and provide expert policy and strategic advice to the city.
- Staff training: Plans are underway to provide Indigenous cultural competency training to all city employees, a response to one of the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC's) report that wanted public servants to learn the history of Aboriginal people.
- Calls to Action: From the TRC report, the city specifically identified eight calls to action that are priorities as statements to commitment in improving relations with Indigenous people. They range from recommendations on health and reconciliation to museums, commemoration and sports.
Sidebar: Events happening in the city to mark Wednesday's National Aboriginal Day:
- Indigenous Arts Festival: A series of artistic events taking place at the Fort York National Historic Site from June 21-25. Art installations, live performances and various workshops on traditional living will be part of the events.
- UNACTO National Aboriginal Day: A discussion about heritage, culture and contributions of Indigenous people in the Canadian community. Hosted by the United Nations Association in Canada at Toronto City Hall, starting 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
- And Still We Sing: A musical about Truth and Reconciliation, featuring music by Adolphus Hailstork, Mary Lou Williams, Pepper Choplin and others. Starts 8 p.m. Wednesday at All Saints Kingsway Anglican Church (2850 Bloor W.)