St. Albert to permanently display Treaty 6 and Metis Nation flags in front of city hall

EDMONTON –

Two new flags will be permanently displayed at St. Albert Place to help better reflect the diverse residents of the municipality.

Treaty 6 and Metis Nation flags were raised Sunday after a dedication ceremony as part of the city’s commitment to reconciliation. The flags mark the newest additions to the building’s display, marking a total of five permanent flags.

Mayor Cathy Heron said the flags now proudly fly outside St. Albert city hall and is long overdue.

“(These flags) help recognize the important role played by all Indigenous peoples here in St. Albert,” she said. “Today’s ceremony represents another step towards our collective journey towards reconciliation in our community and reflects our relationship as Treaty people.

“Today is also a time for all of us who call this place home to renew our pledge, individually and collectively, to continue to learn and to explore our truth and to foster reconciliation through truth and action.”

Council chambers displayed the pair of flags throughout this term, but Heron said flying them outside marks a more meaningful and public display.

Installing permanent flags is one recommendation included in the city’s Payhonin Reconciliation report, initiated by St. Albert city council in collaboration with Indigenous leaders. 

Vernon Watchmaker, grand chief for the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations, said St. Albert represents a major centre for many Indigenous people who live or work in the area. He hopes the flags will be physical reminders of the role everyone in the community must play in reconciliation.

“We are the people of the land,” Watchmaker said. “It is the land that connects all of us.

“Our chiefs and ancestors entered into a peace and friendship treaty,” he added. “From the beginning, it’s always been about living in harmony and co-existing with one another.

“We are hopeful that the city continues to foster inclusivity. To be a bridge of understanding and respect.”

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