Mayor Shoemaker visits Indigenous group hub (6 images)

Mayor Shoemaker visits Indigenous community hub (6 photos)

Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre performs host to Sault mayor in effort to construct relationships between metropolis, Indigenous group

The Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre welcomed Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Matthew Shoemaker to its East Avenue headquarters Thursday afternoon within the title of constructing relationships between the town and the Indigenous group that calls it dwelling.   

“At present is a day of constructing belief, constructing that mutual respect and constructing friendships with the mayor and the city Indigenous individuals in Sault Ste. Marie,” mentioned Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre Govt Director Cathie Syrette, who supplied the Sault’s mayor with a historic overview of the friendship centre throughout his two-hour go to.  

Syrette says the mayor’s look on the membership-driven, non-profit group builds upon a declaration that was signed between the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) and the Affiliation of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) throughout an AMO normal assembly and convention in 2020. 

The Declaration of Mutual Dedication and Friendship: Bettering the High quality of Lifetime of Indigenous Individuals throughout Ontario’s Municipalities — signed by each the Metropolis of Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre — is meant to assist municipal governments and friendship centres construct relationships and collaborate to enhance help mechanisms and companies for Indigenous Peoples all through the province.

Syrette hopes metropolis council will take part within the OFIFC’s Indigenous Cultural Competency Coaching program down the highway as a part of that pledge to work collectively.  

“Now we have our Indigenous Cultural Competency Coaching that I really feel our municipality, our mayor and our council members needs to be taking over an annual foundation, simply because typically individuals neglect,” she mentioned. 

Shoemaker says a technique the municipality can collaborate with the Indigenous group is thru the revived Bawating Indigenous Advisory Council, which was launched partially by former Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Christian Provenzano throughout his time in workplace. 

“I believe by way of the Bawating Indigenous Advisory Council there shall be concepts that shall be introduced ahead from our Indigenous companions that the town can implement both to higher enhance our processes, make our group extra welcoming — no matter their issues are or their recommendations are on enhancements to the municipality by way of Indigenous companies or Indigenous relationships, I believe the town is completely satisfied to implement them or debate them on the council desk,” he mentioned. 

The mayor additionally needs to make good on his marketing campaign pledge to deliver extra Indigenous affect to metropolis corridor throughout his run as the town’s chief. 

“We need to guarantee we undertake Indigenous practices into these ceremonies as a result of that’s the historic manner that ceremonial occasions or issues of cultural significance would have taken place for hundreds of years right here in the neighborhood, in order that’s vital to us — and by us, I imply council — to include Indigenous practices into our occasions and tapping into the Indigenous experience of the friendship centre, or of our neighbouring nations of Backyard River and Batchewana, will assist us get there in that regard,” Shoemaker mentioned. 

Shoemaker took a variety of questions from friendship centre employees throughout his look Thursday earlier than being offered with a present from the group: the town’s coat of arms, within the type of a beaded medallion. 

“I can’t think about that the new medallion on the chain of workplace shall be any nicer than this one,” mentioned Shoemaker. “That is pretty, and really touching that I acquired it.”

The Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship will have fun its fiftieth anniversary in June 2023.