The YMCA of Lethbridge today acknowledges and renews its commitment to addressing the Calls to Action that have been made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The YMCA of Lethbridge values the opportunity to work with Indigenous peoples in this community and region. We acknowledge that Lethbridge is at the heart of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot Confederacy) territory, as well as being home to many other First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples from diverse Nations. We further acknowledge our role as community builders to bear witness, to listen, to learn, to understand, and to make change.
"On this day of reflection, we aim to provide a space for truth and reconciliation within our community." said Vivien Kossuth, YMCA of Lethbridge Board Chair. "We recognize the impact our actions can have on Indigenous communities and we look to make ongoing progress on our shared path towards truth and reconciliation."
All current and future employees of the YMCA of Lethbridge will complete an Indigenous Peoples, Communities, and Reconciliation Course created for the YMCA by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship centres. This training focuses on fostering cultural awareness, increasing understanding, and historical framework of Indigenous peoples in Canada. We look forward to complimenting this training with educational opportunities that are grounded in Blackfoot history, values and perspectives.
The YMCA of Lethbridge is also excited to announce a new partnership with the City of Lethbridge to better reflect Indigenous peoples, past, present and future in our work. Over the coming months the YMCA of Lethbridge and City will collaborate with Indigenous partners to explore opportunities to meaningfully reflect Blackfoot territory within our facility.
"The City of Lethbridge continues to look for innovative ways of advancing truth and reconciliation, this includes increasing the representation of Indigenous peoples, voices and language in public spaces" said Perry Stein, Indigenous Relations Advisory for the City of Lethbridge. "The announcement today highlights yet another strong partnership in the community, and an opportunity to reflect Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples, publically, at the Cor Van Raay YMCA / ATB Centre. We look forward to working with the Indigenous community to help this project take shape."
To learn more about what the City of Lethbridge doing towards reconciliation, head to Lethbridge.ca/indigenousrelations.
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