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Alongside the early work of the Task Force, in 2019 the Cityalsoimplemented a number of equity-focused <br />initiatives, including: <br />1)providing preliminary EDI awareness training to over 200 City staff.(In 2020, the City engaged <br />Kike Ojo of KojoInstitute to provide additional training to City Council and to the City’s entire <br />management team – approx. 150 staff); <br />2)administering and publicly reporting on the City’s first-ever Workforce Census(intended to <br />become a regular measurement tool in the years ahead); <br />3)beginning to collect demographic data on Engage Kitchener surveys as well as applications to <br />participate on Council advisory committees, and; <br />4)proceeding with a tender to secure on-demand interpretation support for residents. <br />City’s Initial Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report <br />In 2019, City Council directed staff to proceed with the implementation of the Truth & Reconciliation Calls <br />to Action starting with two priorities (COR-19-021): <br />1)Introduce a territorial acknowledgement at the commencement of City Councilmeetingsto signal <br />a commitment to responding to the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action, and to demonstrate <br />respect for the ongoing relationships we are building; and <br />2) Implementa training program for staff and Council that will increase Indigenous competency at <br />an organizational level, resulting in improved customer service and increased capacity of non- <br />Indigenous staff across the organization to work respectfully and appropriately on Indigenous <br />initiatives in a municipal context. <br />Internal capacity building within the City of Kitchener isnowunderway and Indigenous Inter-cultural <br />competency training was organized in spring 2020 for Council and staff, however, itwas deferred due to <br />the pandemic and inability to deliver in-person training. Staff areworking with municipal partners to <br />identify an alternative approach to delivering the training. <br />In early 2020, the City leveraged a $25,000 donation from the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation <br />to support the exploration of Indigenous opportunities in the Huron Natural Area (HNA). The project <br />focuses on understanding Indigenous use of HNA through key focus areas: <br />Cultural awareness programming and activities; exploring Indigenous education programs, Forest <br />School initiatives, storytelling through signage and guided walks, etc. <br />Land-based restoration and stewardship; includes exploring how traditional land-based <br />Indigenous ecological knowledge can be integrated and utilized to enhance the existing <br />restoration, stewardship and engagement programs delivered in the park. <br />Events, ceremony and celebration; includes exploring how the park can function as a space for <br />Indigenous events and celebrations for both public participation as well as private ceremonies <br />The HNA initiative was paused in the initial stages of the pandemic and was re-initiated in July with the <br />completion of the recruitment process and onboarding of an Indigenous Parks Engagement Associate to <br />support this work. <br />It is recognized that the initial response to the TRC’s calls to action provide a starting point in the City’s <br />journey to develop meaningful relationships and work toward reconciliation with local First Nations, Métis <br />and Inuit.However, a more comprehensive approach to reconciliation is required to address systemic <br />inequities, racism and to support, celebrate and deliver services to Indigenous Peoples in Kitchener. <br />3 - 2 <br />