Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Indigenous Cultural Centre feasibility study presented to City Council

Lethbridge City Council’s Community Issues Committee receiving an update this week on a feasibility study for a possible future Indigenous Cultural Centre (ICC).

Over 40 local organizations gave feedback during engagement sessions in the last half of 2019.

The City’s Indigenous Relations Advisor, Perry Stein, says those who took part suggested if a Cultural Centre is built it must encompass a number of things:

• The ICC needs to be a physical “Place”
• Celebration and gathering
• Connection programs and events
• Language and learning
• Break down physical and cultural barriers
• Connection to nature
• Reinforce, don’t duplicate
• Provide ceremony space
• Grounded in history and future-oriented
• Showcase Blackfoot culture, and create space for all Indigenous peoples

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“Perhaps this Cultural Centre is an opportunity to tell a more truthful, deep history of Blackfoot people in this region, but also be mindful of what the future of Indigenous identity or Blackfoot identity could look like. That we can be grounded in history, but create the space to support those future endeavours,” says Stein.

Stein is expected to come back before Council in a few weeks with some recommendations to move forward. He also stated this would not only be a place for First Nations, but also a place for anyone to come and learn about Blackfoot and Indigenous culture.

Talk about building an Indigenous Cultural Centre in Lethbridge has been going on for years. Stein notes this project quite strongly aligns with Council’s strategic plan to make the community more inclusive as well as developing local solutions toward reconciliation.

City Council had approved $300,000 for the feasibility study in the 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Plan.

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