Anti-Racism and Inclusion Coalition original membersOn June 19, 2018, representatives from 11 major organizations signed a Thunder Bay Anti-Racism & Inclusion Accord, and announced a Coalition that will commit to establish goals and report on successes by working together to address racism and discrimination in the community.

"Each and every lead at the organizations agreed that a unified approach and public statement declaring the existence of systemic racism within Thunder Bay needs to happen," said Ken Ogima, Chief Executive Officer at Fort William First Nation.

"We agreed that when working together, unified by one idea, we can provide fruitful gains and solutions with anti-racism and discrimination."

 

The following CEOs/CAOs were in attendance to sign the Accord:

  • Norm Gale, City of Thunder Bay
  • Ken Ogima, Fort William First Nation
  • Sylvie Hauth, Thunder Bay Police Services
  • John Pateman, Thunder Bay Public Library
  • David Paul Achneepineskum, Matawa First Nations Management
  • Moira McPherson, Lakehead University
  • Ken Adams, Confederation College
  • Ian MacRae, Lakehead Public School Board
  • Pino Tassone, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  • Jean Bartkowiak, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
  • Lisa Beckwick, St. Joseph's Care Group

Thunder Bay Anti-Racism & Inclusion Accord
Our Shared Future Rooted in the Truth of Our Past and Our Commitment to Mutual Respect,
Equal Opportunity and Hope

We, the undersigned, are committed to put into action commitments established by the Thunder Bay Coalition for Anti-Racism & Inclusion (Coalition), which consists of organizations, groups, and individuals in Thunder Bay. This Accord is intended to be a living document that is not a single-time event, but an ongoing responsibility accepted by the undersigned who, through collaboration and mutual respect, commit to establish goals and report on successes. It is also an ongoing invitation to other sectors, organizations, groups and individuals in Thunder Bay to collaborate with and commit to the Coalition.

We acknowledge that Thunder Bay is built on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation, signatory to the Robinson-Superior Treaty of 1850. It is a city where diverse Indigenous Peoples have taken residence. Immigrants, from multigenerational to newcomer, have also chosen to reside in the city. Thunder Bay has a history that includes European settlement and colonization. In recognition of its diversity, we aspire Thunder Bay to be a protective and inclusive environment for all.

Furthermore, we acknowledge that colonization contributes to systemic racism against Indigenous and racialized communities. Racism threatens the welfare of all community members and is compounded by discrimination that is based on sex, gender, age, creed, class, ability, sexuality, family status, and their intersections. As a Coalition, guided by the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and international human rights instruments including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Efforts to address systemic racism and injustices committed against Indigenous and racialized persons have been examined but, for the purposes of this Accord, we draw particular attention to: (1) the Seven First Nation Youths 2016 - Inquest - Office of the Ontario Chief Coroner, (2) the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and, (3) the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (the “Three Investigations”).

We are committed to an inclusive society for all members of the Thunder Bay community, in keeping with the domestic and international human rights instruments named above. Guided by calls to actions and recommendations made by these Three Investigations, we further commit to advancing equity and diversity in the sectors of governments, education, children & youth services, health services, municipal services, emergency services, libraries, and business, as well as at the individual level. This pledge is actualized by the following commitments of action:

Each organization commits to:

  1. Address racism against Indigenous and racialized persons by setting short- and long-term goals to meet the calls to action or recommendations in one or more of the Three Investigations listed above.
  2. Support an ongoing process of truth & reconciliation throughout their organization and in our community by developing and maintaining respectful relations with Indigenous governments, organizations and individuals.
  3. Report on our goals annually, beginning in June 2019.

As a Coalition we will:

  1. Develop and maintain a Thunder Bay Anti-Racism Accord Resource Guide to support the coordination of the Accord.
  2. Meet our commitments by working collaboratively, both internally in our organizations and throughout the community.

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