Future Cold Lake City Council and council committee meetings will begin with an Indigenous land acknowledgement read aloud, after council voted to amend its procedure bylaw to include the acknowledgement at its February 8 meeting.
“We have a strong relationship with our Indigenous neighbours, both Cold Lake First Nations and the Elizabeth Metis Settlement, and Council wanted to formally recognize this partnership as we continue down the path of mutual respect, understanding and reconciliation,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We recognize that the City of Cold Lake operates today on the traditional territory of several Indigenous communities, and that proud history is a large part of the fabric that makes up our city and community.”
The acknowledgement will be read by the chairperson at the start of each meeting, beginning with the Corporate Priorities Committee of Council meeting on February 15, 2022. The statement is as follows:
“In the spirit of respect and reciprocity, we acknowledge that the City of Cold Lake is located on lands and by water in Treaty 6 Territory and the homeland of the Metis Nation that has been, and continues to be, a sacred place for many. We pay respect to the indigenous peoples of this place past and present: the Cree, Denesuline and Metis peoples. We acknowledge that this place is impacted by the ongoing process of colonialism. We strive to understand and reframe our responsibilities to land and community as we journey towards reconciliation.”
The land acknowledgement will be read before the following meetings: city council, special council, committee of the whole, and all other City of Cold Lake committee meetings, except where council has granted permission to a committee to establish its own procedures.
In the upcoming weeks, council will debate whether the statement should also be read at other official City functions, community events, and meetings, as well as whether the acknowledgement should be read by third party individuals and organizations that may use municipally-funded facilities for their programs, functions, events, and meetings.