Indigenous Placemaking Strategy

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Fire Hall 5 Mural

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The City of Lethbridge has made progress in the last several years in developing relationships with Indigenous peoples, Communities and organizations to advance community efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation. This commenced in 2017 with City Council’s formal response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and continues today with the work of the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee and recently approved Work Plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Justice.

An emerging area of interest to the City is to understand the concept of “placemaking” from the perspective of Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples who call Lethbridge home, including its use as a tool to advance meaningful representation of Indigenous peoples and the on-going awareness raising of non-Indigenous peoples. The City of Lethbridge’s public spaces (including the names, images and stories associated with City-owned roads, parks, buildings, plaques, facilities, monuments, art, etc.), can serve as meaningful opportunities to reflect Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples’ cultures, languages and histories. Placemaking is an approach that can be applied to public areas that seeks to activate underused and potentially misused spaces to enhance civic attachment, create community connections and contribute to a strong sense of safety and well-being.

In May 2021, the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy was approved by City Council through the Capital Improvement Program 2022 – 2031. The focus of the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy is to advance planning and opportunity identification to showcase Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples’ cultures, languages and histories in public spaces around the community. In June 2021, shortly after the revelation of unmarked children’s graves at the Kamloops Residential School as well as added community interest in existing named spaces within the city, City Council passed a resolution to advance this project by several months and additionally include within the scope, an “audit” of named public spaces through the lenses of truth, Reconciliation and inclusion.

The purpose of the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy and Public Realm audit is to look at Lethbridge holistically, and discuss the following opportunities:

  1. Renaming – finding existing public spaces that may currently have a name that emphasizes oppressive histories, may no longer align with our community’s values, or may not have been named using the lenses of truth, Reconciliation and inclusion. This project seeks to understanding where these public realm assets may exist, and make recommendations for City Council to consider.
  2. Reframing - finding existing public realm assets and addressing the way they are presented and interpreted to the public to ensure education around local Indigenous cultures and histories, truth, Reconciliation and inclusion. Reframing is a potential tool to contextualize named places in our community, through truth-telling and education.
  3. Placemaking - imagining new opportunities and venues for the City to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples' cultures and histories. These may be things like murals, public art installations, landscape design elements, public programming, heritage interpretation, etc., intended to help Blackfoot and other Indigenous residents and visitors feel more reflected, respected, connected, safe, and welcomed in their community, and to build bridges between all community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

To-date, the project has engaged with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and other members of the Blackfoot and Indigenous communities in Lethbridge and region to gather their perspectives. Based on that feedback, a set of Draft Indigenous Placemaking Guiding Principles has been prepared. The Guiding Principles are seen as a tool that will help the City of Lethbridge consider how existing named public spaces should be considered and how future Indigenous placemaking opportunities are evaluated.

DRAFT INDIGENOUS PLACEMAKING GUIDING PRINCIPLES
POSSIBLE CONNECTION TO NIITSITAPI (BLACKFOOT) VALUES
Approach Indigenous Placemaking from a Blackfoot perspective, including respecting the relationship between people, culture and the environment, and the observation of cultural protocols.

Niitsitapiiysinni - “To be Blackfoot”

Aatsimoyikaan - “Spirituality”
Use Indigenous Placemaking to create "ethical spaces" for dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples so that more truthful histories can be shared.
Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”
Use Indigenous Placemaking as an opportunity for education, connection, and to promote critical thinking about history and how it is represented.

Kakoysin - “Be aware of your environment; be observant”

Pommotsiiysinni - “To transfer something to others”
Indigenous Placemaking should consider the needs of people and the environment.

Kimmapiiypitsinni - “Kindness to others”

Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”
Indigenous Placemaking can be a tool to meaningfully reflect the stories, histories, cultures and languages of Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples who call Lethbridge home.

Niitsitapiiysinni - “To be Blackfoot”

Pommotsiiysinni - “To transfer something to others”

Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”


Share your thoughts with us by completing the survey below!

The City of Lethbridge has made progress in the last several years in developing relationships with Indigenous peoples, Communities and organizations to advance community efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation. This commenced in 2017 with City Council’s formal response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and continues today with the work of the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee and recently approved Work Plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls to Justice.

An emerging area of interest to the City is to understand the concept of “placemaking” from the perspective of Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples who call Lethbridge home, including its use as a tool to advance meaningful representation of Indigenous peoples and the on-going awareness raising of non-Indigenous peoples. The City of Lethbridge’s public spaces (including the names, images and stories associated with City-owned roads, parks, buildings, plaques, facilities, monuments, art, etc.), can serve as meaningful opportunities to reflect Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples’ cultures, languages and histories. Placemaking is an approach that can be applied to public areas that seeks to activate underused and potentially misused spaces to enhance civic attachment, create community connections and contribute to a strong sense of safety and well-being.

In May 2021, the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy was approved by City Council through the Capital Improvement Program 2022 – 2031. The focus of the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy is to advance planning and opportunity identification to showcase Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples’ cultures, languages and histories in public spaces around the community. In June 2021, shortly after the revelation of unmarked children’s graves at the Kamloops Residential School as well as added community interest in existing named spaces within the city, City Council passed a resolution to advance this project by several months and additionally include within the scope, an “audit” of named public spaces through the lenses of truth, Reconciliation and inclusion.

The purpose of the Indigenous Placemaking Strategy and Public Realm audit is to look at Lethbridge holistically, and discuss the following opportunities:

  1. Renaming – finding existing public spaces that may currently have a name that emphasizes oppressive histories, may no longer align with our community’s values, or may not have been named using the lenses of truth, Reconciliation and inclusion. This project seeks to understanding where these public realm assets may exist, and make recommendations for City Council to consider.
  2. Reframing - finding existing public realm assets and addressing the way they are presented and interpreted to the public to ensure education around local Indigenous cultures and histories, truth, Reconciliation and inclusion. Reframing is a potential tool to contextualize named places in our community, through truth-telling and education.
  3. Placemaking - imagining new opportunities and venues for the City to acknowledge Indigenous Peoples' cultures and histories. These may be things like murals, public art installations, landscape design elements, public programming, heritage interpretation, etc., intended to help Blackfoot and other Indigenous residents and visitors feel more reflected, respected, connected, safe, and welcomed in their community, and to build bridges between all community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.

To-date, the project has engaged with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and other members of the Blackfoot and Indigenous communities in Lethbridge and region to gather their perspectives. Based on that feedback, a set of Draft Indigenous Placemaking Guiding Principles has been prepared. The Guiding Principles are seen as a tool that will help the City of Lethbridge consider how existing named public spaces should be considered and how future Indigenous placemaking opportunities are evaluated.

DRAFT INDIGENOUS PLACEMAKING GUIDING PRINCIPLES
POSSIBLE CONNECTION TO NIITSITAPI (BLACKFOOT) VALUES
Approach Indigenous Placemaking from a Blackfoot perspective, including respecting the relationship between people, culture and the environment, and the observation of cultural protocols.

Niitsitapiiysinni - “To be Blackfoot”

Aatsimoyikaan - “Spirituality”
Use Indigenous Placemaking to create "ethical spaces" for dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples so that more truthful histories can be shared.
Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”
Use Indigenous Placemaking as an opportunity for education, connection, and to promote critical thinking about history and how it is represented.

Kakoysin - “Be aware of your environment; be observant”

Pommotsiiysinni - “To transfer something to others”
Indigenous Placemaking should consider the needs of people and the environment.

Kimmapiiypitsinni - “Kindness to others”

Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”
Indigenous Placemaking can be a tool to meaningfully reflect the stories, histories, cultures and languages of Blackfoot and other Indigenous peoples who call Lethbridge home.

Niitsitapiiysinni - “To be Blackfoot”

Pommotsiiysinni - “To transfer something to others”

Innakotsiiyinni - “Respect for others”


Page last updated: 01 Mar 2022, 09:24 AM