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Funding to help develop ways to celebrate Indigenous Month next June

Council approved directing $30,000 from the 2021 Community and Economic Development Commission (CEDC) budget to celebrate local Indigenous persons throughout National Indigenous Month in June, 2021.

Council direction to the CEDC would be to develop a program that recognizes and celebrates the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and other relevant First Nations in the community and region; provides opportunities for education, understanding and public discourse to staff, council and the community about Indigenous communities in Prince Edward County; and brings together people and businesses of the Mohawks of the Bay pf Quinte and Prince Edward County.

The ECDC could use the budget to support the library’s speaker series which was interrupted in March by the pandemic; the County museums’ exhibits and expansion of programs for schools and to partner with businesses and First Nations communities on workshops and tourism sector options.

In June, council approved a resolution to engage with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and other relevant First Nations in response to calls for action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Staff will defer recommendations on how the municipality is prepared to publicly display and install art on municipal properties out of respect for recommendations from the Prince Edward County Heritage Advisory Committee scheduled to be heard during a special council meeting Nov. 17 to discuss the Sir John A Macdonald ‘Holding Court’ statue on Main Street, Picton.

Council also supported a collaborative creation of a cultural and economic “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte to build a new era of cultural and economic development opportunities between the two governments”.

An MOU could establish preferred ways of engaging on site specific and program specific matters, recognize areas of mutual interest and promote wider learning of shared history.

Staff, in partnership with Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, will also organize an annual June council meeting between the County council and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte council.

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