The Secwepemc flag is raised at Salmon Arm City Hall on Aboriginal Day in June 2014. (File photo)

Salmon Arm to recognize Secwepemc territory before all council meetings

Historic change to procedures finalized at Jan. 13 meeting

It’s now official.

Although it’s been months in the making, Salmon Arm council gave final reading on Monday, Jan. 13 to an historic addition to its meeting procedures.

All council agendas and all council committee agendas will include a new third step effective immediately.

First will be a call to order, second will be an in-camera session – if there is one, and third will be an acknowledgement of traditional territory.

The statement reads: “We acknowledge that we are gathering here on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people, with whom we share these lands and where we live and work together.”

Read more: Raising of Secwepemculecw flag at Salmon Arm campus recognizes history

Read more: Heiltsuk Nation opens first Big House in 120 years on BC central coast

Coun. Tim Lavery moved that the statement be included not only at the beginning of all council meetings, but also before all council committee meetings. Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion (Coun. Kevin Flynn was absent for that portion of the meeting).

In August 2018, council adopted a new procedure bylaw and in May 2019 amended it to include the new order of business.

“It seems to have taken a long time but it’s such an important piece,” commented Mayor Alan Harrison.

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