Strengthening relationships with the Indigenous community
The path to reconciliation is long and comes with understanding that some of our successes will not be seen by us but by future generations.
Louis Riel Day
November 16 marks the anniversary of the execution of Métis leader Louis Riel in 1885. This national day acknowledges and celebrates the Métis culture and the contributions of the Métis people across Canada and highlights the struggles that Métis continue to face.
Riel is considered the “Father of Manitoba,” with his legacy as a defender of the Métis way of life focused on preserving the culture and rights of Métis peoples and their homelands in the Northwest as these lands progressively shrunk under colonial expansion.
Louis Riel Day also represents one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous people and responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
To learn more about Louis Riel and the Métis, please visit:
Library resources for children
Films, documentaries & audio
The use of Indigenous Medicines Policy
The City of Hamilton has developed a Use of Indigenous Medicines Policy, which confirms the City’s commitment to supporting Indigenous peoples to use sacred medicines in ceremonies such as smudging or prayer pipe ceremonies in municipal facilities. The policy outlines the steps that City of Hamilton staff are expected to follow to accommodate the use of Indigenous medicines.
In the course of developing Hamilton’s Urban Indigenous Strategy, smudging ceremonies have been incorporated to begin the meetings of the Coordinating Circle in the Lister Block. Since the Fall of 2017, weekly cultural competency training run for the Hamilton Police Services has also incorporated smudging ceremonies. The new policy not only supports these important initiatives but will be used by other divisions and programs within the City that are working to build relationships with Indigenous peoples and create a welcoming environment in municipal locations.
Indigenous Archaeological Monitoring Policy
The City of Hamilton acknowledges Indigenous peoples as the original peoples of this land and recognizes that Indigenous peoples have an inherent and rights-based interest in the archaeology and heritage of their ancestors. The City of Hamilton is working to improve existing Municipal-Indigenous relationships, including how Indigenous communities are involved in the archaeological assessment process. The City's Indigenous Archaeological Monitoring Policy provides a interim process for engaging with Indigenous communities on City-initiated archaeological assessment work and for coordinating and funding Indigenous monitoring, until relationship agreements are developed with each Indigenous community and adopted by the respective Councils.