Saskatchewan mayors vote to put aside seat on councils for elders

Saskatchewan mayors have voted in favour of a resolution that may see cities and towns across the province make available a seat at their council tables for Indigenous elders.

According to one mayor, their wisdom and advice is needed as municipalities work toward reconciliation.

“The elders have a wide array of experiences, their knowledge, their experiences, and it is really important that we include them,” says La Loche mayor, Georgina Jolibois.

A resolution passed unanimously at the recent Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention.

It states in part, that elders can provide context to current affairs and foster reconciliation and, “we all have a moral duty to foster Truth and Reconciliation with members of our Indigenous peoples.”

It also acknowledges that “members of Canada’s [I]ndigenous peoples continue to be underrepresented in political discourse,” and that “the Elders of our communities are the keepers of much of our history, and can provide context to many of our current endeavours.”

All towns and cities in the province are governed by the Municipalities Act, and it would have to be amended by the provincial government before Saskatchewan mayors can put the resolution into practice.

“There’s one component that they would, that they speak about is support for mental health and addictions, support for community healing, individual healing and the ability to move forward,” says Jolibois.

APTN News emailed Saskatchewan’s minister of Municipal Affairs on Monday asking when the government will endorse the resolution.

No one from the department replied.

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