‘Walk for Reconciliation’ funding talks take next step at Aboriginal Affairs Committee
Feb 11, 2017
Members of the Aboriginal Affairs Committee were surprised to hear that their endorsement for the city to provide in-kind support (meaning exchange without money) for a “Walk for Reconciliation” had turned into an offer for $500,000 taken from the city’s special-events reserve fund. “To all of the sudden see half a million bucks on on the table – for someone who has been struggling for many years, in terms of engaging the city on these kinds of conversations, it’s just a bit of a shock,” Aboriginal Affairs Committee member Kenn Richard, of Native Child and Family Service, said after the meeting. The group organizing the walk, Reconciliation Canada, appears reluctant to continue pursuing the project without the committee’s approval. When asked if the group could do the walk without the city’s funding, Gina Doxtator, senior director of partnerships for Reconciliation Canada, told Signal Toronto, “I don’t think we’d want to. We do have some funding. We’d have to scale back and see what makes the most sense. It’s really important to engage the indigenous, the multicultural community in this because that’s where reconciliation happens, when the community comes together both in the dialogue prior to the walk, and on that day.” Reconciliation Canada proposed their plan for the event to the Aboriginal Affairs Committee in November, 2016. At Thursday’s meeting, the committee moved to hold off on supporting the item until another meeting next month, so members could have some time to discuss the proposal.