In June 2019, Hamilton City Council endorsed the City of Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy (UIS). The UIS identifies specific actions that the City needs to take to ensure Indigenous contributions and experiences are honoured and commemorated.
As part of the UIS implementation, a staff team called the Indigenous Landmarks and Monuments Working Group was developed in 2020 to provide information and review existing and new landmarks, spaces and markers that reflect the true history and disposition of the Indigenous community in Hamilton.
In July 2021, Hamilton City Council directed staff to undertake a Review that will identify short and long-term opportunities to address Indigenous and historical landmarks, spaces and markers across the city.
The outcome from the Review will help determine opportunities to honour the Indigenous community and to contribute towards the City’s journey towards meaningful reconciliation. The work involves:
- Developing a framework on the historical and commemoration of landmarks through a phased in approach with more detailed timelines.
- Identifying geographical areas that are of historical and cultural significance to the Indigenous community.
- Conducting a review based on the identified geographic areas which:
- Identifies opportunities to better represent Indigenous contributions and history in City owned landmarks, parks, street names, trails/open spaces and facilities.
- Identifies specific landmarks that are triggering in nature towards Indigenous people.
- Develops recommendations on how to bring forward Hamilton’s true history through an Indigenous lens.
Engage Indigenous Consulting Firm - July to August 2021 (COMPLETE)
City staff to engage the services of First Peoples Group, a third-party Indigenous consultant, to advise on best practices and to conduct the Review. To achieve the goals of this project, staff will seek to facilitate the development of a shared understanding of Hamilton’s history through ongoing dialogue about the lived experience, history and culture of Indigenous peoples.
Establish an Indigenous Circle – September 2021 (COMPLETE)
The Indigenous Landmarks and Monuments Working group will seek to establish an “Honouring our Roots Circle of Experts” which will be comprised of key external stakeholders including Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Elders and urban Indigenous community members. These two groups will work collaboratively together to review, prioritize as well as develop the framework and future review processes for the Review.
Review existing City owned landmarks, spaces, monuments, markers - September to December 2021 (COMPLETE)
- Identifying specific landmarks or monuments that are triggering or problematic in nature towards Indigenous people
- Identifying geographical areas that are of significance to the Indigenous community
- Identifying opportunities to better represent Indigenous contributions and history in City-owned landmarks, parks, street names, trails/open spaces and facilities
Co-develop a framework and process for the future review (COMPLETE)
Future review of prioritized existing City-owned landmarks, spaces, monuments, markers as well as for evaluating proposals for future installments with a lens of seeking to address systemic racism and the perpetuation of colonialism and in ways that respect and recognize Indigenous peoples, their histories and their contributions in the area.
Public Education Campaign (UPCOMING)
Engage the public in opportunities for Indigenous cultural awareness and education about pre-colonial history and current realities of Indigenous peoples in the area.
Indigenous and Community Consultation - 2022/23 (UPCOMING)
Upon guidance of ‘Honouring our Roots’ Circle of Experts, further review of prioritized landmarks, spaces, monuments, markers will include consultation with the Indigenous community to develop recommendations that may include adding new landmarks and or moving/removing/re-interpreting/renaming existing landmarks in ways that support a more equitable, balanced, and inclusive representation of Indigenous peoples’ histories, contributions in Hamilton, and, in the spirit of reconciliation, contribute to the education of the greater public about the history of colonialism in Canada.
For more information regarding the City of Hamilton’s Landmarks and Monuments Review contact First Peoples Group.
Email [email protected]
For more information about the City’s Urban Indigenous Strategy visit hamilton.ca/Indigenous.
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