by Colin Smith
The Town of Morinville will be working with Sturgeon County on bringing an educational event about the history and culture of Indigenous peoples to the area.
Intended primarily for municipal elected officials, the event to be held next year would include an experiential learning session called a blanket exercise, intended to build understanding and relationships.
In the blanket exercise, blankets represent the land and the participants the Indigenous people who inhabited it, following a script reflecting their historical experience since the arrival of European settlers. This is followed by a sharing circle discussion.
The session is part of a new initiative launched by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Rural Municipalities of Alberta with funding from Alberta Municipal Affairs.
At its November 13 meeting, Council received correspondence from Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw stating that the county wants to apply for this initiative, and seeking Morinville’s partnership. To be eligible organizers must guarantee participation of a minimum of 20 individuals, at least of eight of whom are municipal elected officials.
Councillor Sarah Hall expressed interest in taking part in the event and made a motion that Morinville partner with Sturgeon County on the application, which passed unanimously.