County land acknowledgement still in the works

White: 'It’s still sitting with county staff … We want to make sure we get this right'

WELLINGTON COUNTY – County staff are taking a methodical approach to developing the wording of a proposed land acknowledgement to open council meetings and functions.

“Extensive research and reflection is required by the county in order to develop a meaningful and accurate acknowledgement which takes the layered Indigenous political history in our area into account,” states a report to the administration, finance and human resources committee from clerk Donna Bryce.

“In order to develop the acknowledgment, many community resources have been identified to help county staff in this process to understand the history of the land, the Indigenous populations and to learn about the treaties between the Crown and Indigenous leaders.”

A notice of motion to implement an acknowledgement was introduced by councillor Don McKay at the Feb. 27 council meeting and was referred to staff for a progress report to council in June.

“It’s still sitting with county staff … we probably don’t have a timeline on this at this point but you can see that they’re going to try to do this in a comprehensive and accurate way,” said councillor Chris White, who chairs the administration committee, at the June 25 council meeting.

“We want to make sure we get this right.”

Councillor Diane Ballantyne said, “While we obviously want to get this right, I continue to acknowledge that we’re really far behind on taking any action on this and I hope staff are going to keep this a priority so that were going to be able to move forward in a timely manner.

“Doing so will demonstrate that we’re embracing and celebrating diversity within our county,” she added.