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Saanich council aims to create more meaningful relations with Indigenous communities

Terms developed to provide steps that will implement change over time
Saanich staff are looking to adopt more meaningful relationships with Indigenous experts and advisors in the community. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich council unanimously approved proposed changes to the Resilient Saanich Technical Committee (RSTC) terms at an Oct. 25 committee of the whole meeting, which would encourage and invite more meaningful engagement with First Nations communities in the district.

On Aug. 9 council approved amended terms that provided timelines, roles and responsibilities, and a work plan in order to implement this change.

A report said that the proposed changes are likely to be delayed as more time is needed to build relationships and create culturally safe processes and spaces to allow for such engagement.

“This recommendation is about creating space and ensuring that skillsets are available in our process to maximize the likelihood that we can do this in a meaningful way,” said Coun. Rebecca Mersereau during the meeting.

The district has been working to build a relationship with the WSANEC leadership council and is working toward signing a formalized memorandum of understanding. Staff has also suggested ensuring the consultants hired have appropriate expertise.

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