A proposed change to the opening protocol of City Council meetings is one step closer to fruition.
Councillors on London’s corporate services committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to open up meetings of council with a recognition of London’s aboriginal history, following the national anthem.
The change will see a two sentence-long statement follow the rendition of O Canada, which was introduced to council meetings last year.
The opening protocol at London City Council meetings may be about to change.
“We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendt, Attawandaron, and Lenape Indigenous peoples. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties, including Treaty 6, The London Township Treaty,” the statement will read.
Currently, the city councils of Toronto and St. Catharines are the only in Ontario acknowledge traditional territory of the First Nations peoples at the beginning of their meetings.
In a letter to the committee, councillors Maureen Cassidy and Tanya Park support the change, writing that the recognition and respect that would come from the alteration are “essential in order to establish and strengthen healthy, reciprocal relations.”
The councillors say these relationships are key to the reconciliation process, something which London City Council has made a priority.
In order for the change to be adopted, it must be passed in full council. Councillors will debate the motion on Tuesday, Dec. 6.