Support to host KIPD in Circle June 2019

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It has come to my attention that the Kapuskasing Indigenous Peoples Day (KIPD) committee’s proposal to host our annual event in the Circle is up for Council consideration. 

Our request is “Recommendation that Council consider a request from the Kapuskasing Indigenous Peoples Day Committee (KIPD).”  (To host our 2nd annual KIPD event in the Circle, which would require the closing of Circle Street to traffic between 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Friday, June 21, 2019.)   

On December 20, 2018 there was a recommendation attached to our request that read: “That Council deny the request to close the Circle, recommend moving the Kapuskasing Indigenous Peoples Day Summer Solstice Celebrations to Riverside Park and that a planning meeting be held with the event committee, Protective Services and the Public Works Department.” 

It is followed with “Although Riverside Park does not hold the same cultural significance as the Circle, the recommendation to move the event is based on concerns from the BIA experiencing interruptions in service.” 

I am reaching out to you in the spirit of reconciliation to hear our concerns.  The very fact that hosting the event in the Circle is seen as being disruptive is the reason it needs to be in the Circle.  If we move our Indigenous Peoples to the fringes of our community we are seceding from an earnest opportunity for reconciliation.  Why the Circle?  It is the Centre of our community, the heart of our community, we need to showcase the strong and vibrant Indigenous Community we have right here in Kapuskasing.  If we give in to the pressure of hosting our event elsewhere we are agreeing that Indigenous People are not welcome at the heart of our community, that they can be tokenized and celebrated on the fringes, and further we are saying that the heart of our community is the merchant.  The same merchant who benefits from all of our hard earned dollars, regardless of their patrons’ race, ancestry, colour, place of origin or ethnic origin. 

We are all Treaty 9 members, living and enjoying the benefits of residing in the Traditional Territory of the Cree, Moose Cree, we must not take this for granted.  I ask you, why one day of interruptions in services is too much?  Consider that Indigenous People have been disrupted for generations.  Isn’t it time that we come together with love in our hearts to not merely celebrate a one day event but instead to commit to honour the keepers of this beautiful land that we all benefit from. 

How can you help?  The Town of Kapuskasing Council meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 6:00 pm.  Come out to the Council Meeting, to show support for the Kapuskasing Indigenous Peoples Day Event 2019 committee’s request to close the Circle Street so the entire community can come and honour and celebrate this summer.  You can also call the Town, write letters, use social media.  Bring your true spirit of reconciliation to the Town Council.