September 11, 2019
City Council endorsed the Use of Indigenous Images/Themes in City Sports Facilities Policy. The policy promotes a positive and inclusive experience at City sports facilities, while supporting a climate of understanding and mutual respect.
“Mississauga prides itself on being one of the most culturally diverse and welcoming cities in the world,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “It’s important that our facilities reflect our commitment to inclusivity and are places where everyone feels welcomed, safe and respected. We are proud of our City’s rich history and the Indigenous communities past and present who have helped shape Mississauga into the world-class city we are today. This policy is an important step on the path to reconciliation and demonstrates our continued commitment and respect for First Nations people and all visitors to our sporting facilities.”
The new policy supports enhancements to the City’s diversity and inclusion staff training. It also addresses actions related to municipal government within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.
“We are committed to continuously improving the diversity and inclusion training that we make available to all City of Mississauga employees to ensure they understand the perspectives, goals and interests of Indigenous people,” said Janice Baker, City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). “This policy will help us by defining the roles and responsibilities of the City and our staff as we continue to build this important relationship.”
The policy was developed to meet the requirements of a settlement made by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). The City committed to a number of objectives laid out by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in December 2018.
The new policy lays out objectives and processes for the City:
- Will not permit the display of Indigenous images in the City’s indoor and outdoor sports facilities that are related to non-Indigenous sports organizations; this includes displays during events
- To engage with Indigenous groups and non-Indigenous community sport organizations to build awareness of this policy
- To continue to educate non-Indigenous sport organizations and clubs who are still using Indigenous images
- To enhance its diversity and inclusion staff training with material addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
“With the support of Council and staff I am committed to working with Indigenous organizations and sport groups within my Ward to proactively build awareness” said Councillor Stephen Dasko.
The policy was developed in consultation and collaboration with several Indigenous organizations. City staff will continue to engage with these stakeholders as the policy is implemented and through future policy reviews and updates.