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City's 'Engage for Change' Sesquicentennial project to be supported by the Government of Canada

January 11, 2017 -

Engage for Change – a City of Kingston Sesquicentennial project designed to increase collaboration with Indigenous Peoples – will be supported by $83,600 from the Government of Canada's Celebration & Commemoration Program – Canada 150 Fund thanks to a council decision last night.

‘Engage for Change' events will take place over the Sesquicentennial year and are aimed at developing a relationship protocol between the City of Kingston and First Peoples.

"The City of Kingston has been working to strengthen relations with the First Peoples Community locally and regionally through such initiatives as the creation of the First Peoples Recognition Statement," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "I am proud that both the City of Kingston and the Government of Canada see value in the investment of a relationship protocol with our First Peoples, and the sesquicentennial year is the perfect time to start the development of this protocol."

Rooted in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and guided by recommendations contained in the Truth and Reconciliation Findings and Call to Action, ‘Engage for Change' hopes to:

  • create opportunities to recognize and promote the significant role of First Peoples in history and in contemporary times;
  • increase support for traditional knowledge and practices through City policies and procedures; and
  • increase collaboration between First Peoples and non-Indigenous people that results in an appreciation and celebration of an inclusive Canadian identity.

This multi-faceted project promotes learning through inclusive dialogue, celebration and performance. Engagements will take place through a series of community-wide talking circles, a curricular school project and various performance-based opportunities.

"The upcoming year is all about reconnecting Canadians together. This project highlights the government's renewed relationship with our Indigenous peoples, and the new nation-to-nation dialogue being fostered," says Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. "I am pleased that Kingston is committed to strengthening relations with the Indigenous community both locally and across our region in this seminal year for our country."

For more information about Engage for Change, please visit www.CityofKingston.ca/EngageforChange.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Ce project a été rendu possible en partie grâce au government du Canada.

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About the City of Kingston

The City of Kingston provides municipal services to 125,000 residents living in this visually stunning, historic city, often ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. Kingston is focusing on being smart and livable as it pursues its vision to become Canada's most sustainable city. We focus on environmental responsibility, social equity, economic health and cultural vitality –ensuring that today's decisions don't compromise our future. 

Please visit www.CityofKingston.ca and join the conversation on social media.

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Media contact: Julie Fossitt, Marketing Manager, cultural services. 613-546-4291 ext. 1143 or jfossitt@cityofkingston.ca