Thursday, February 9, 2017

Councillor Thorkelson outlines civic efforts towards reconciliation process

A glimpse into how the City of Prince Rupert may approach the topic of reconciliation with area First Nations was offered up by Councillor Joy Thorkelson on Monday evening, as the councillor provided some background notes from a weekend reconciliation conference that she and Mayor Lee Brain attended.

Ms. Thorkelson speaking at the end of the Council session reserved for topics of interest from the city's council members, provided a short thumbnail description of the meetings, which included both First Nations and  non First Nations leaders in government and business in the community.

As part of her review of the session she made note that a number of recommendations from the weekend session are to be written up from the gathering, adding that once they have been compiled the city should distribute them for review.

One of the key take aways that the councillor absorbed from the weekend, was how City Hall could become an advocate towards the reconciliation process.  With Ms. Thorkelson noting that one approach towards more inclusion at City Hall could be by way of promoting First Nations participants through affirmative action initiatives for City committees and Commissions.

Reconciliation issues were a topic for discussion for
 Councillor Joy Thorkelson  as part of Monday's Council session

In addition to the approach that they may take towards reconciliation at the city's offices on Third Avenue West, the Councillor also outlined some observations as to how the City's recreation department might better showcase the diversity that is found in the community.

Calling attention to the Recreation Department's Active Living Magazine which is delivered to Prince Rupert homes a number of times through the year.

The Councillor noted that while progress has been made from the editions of years past, the current issue still could offer up more photos that offer up a visual representation of not only First Nations residents, but of the many other cultures that call Prince Rupert home.

Ms. Thorkelson observed that the visual presentation from the Recreation Centre has been a topic that she has long had a concern about and one which she has  raised before outside of the public forum of council.

As  part of her review on the topic, Ms. Thorkelson noted that at times the recreation guide book seems to project the image of a suburban community in the Vancouver area, as opposed to what the face of Prince Rupert might be.

You can review the most recent guide for yourself   (available on line here) to see for yourself just where the councillor is coming from on the theme.

The Recreation Centre magazine is a 38 page guide that offers an outline to the range of programs available at city facilities, also included in the guide are a number of information pieces about events, along with with advertising from the City and local companies and organizations.

Added to the visual mix of the publication are a number of photos many of them local, along with others which appear to be more along the lines of generic stock photo images.

However, as the Councillor correctly notes, missing through much of the publication are photos that reflect of the wide Diaspora that live in the city, a collective which can be found during the course of most days and nights making use of the city's recreation facilities.

You can review Councillor Thorkelson's background information on the themes from the City's You Tube Video Archive page, her comments begin at the one hour sixteen minute mark.

More items related to Monday's City Council session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline Feature here.

While notes of interested related to Council discussions can be found on our Council Archive page.

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