Wetaskiwin recently hosted an Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Summer 2021 Municipal Leaders’ Caucus event at the local Best Western Wayside Inn on July 29, 2021.
Wetaskiwin was the last stop on a tour of five municipalities, organized by AUMA, for this summer’s Municipal Leaders’ Caucus event.
This tour and caucus brought together elected officials and senior administrators from all over Alberta to discuss key issues affecting municipalities such as funding challenges, and equity diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“It was a privilege to host this event. Around 50 people attended in-person, with another 50 participating virtually,” stated City of Wetaskiwin Mayor Tyler Gandam, who serves as AUMA’s Director for cities under 500,000. “AUMA’s work in advancing municipal issues and building dialogue amongst elected officials across the province has been incredible.”
The AUMA Municipal Leader’s Caucus event began with recognition of Treaty Six territory and was followed by a series of prayer and honour songs performed by a drum group from Maskwacis, Maskwa Ridge.
As the host community, Wetaskiwin was invited to prepare a local presentation for attendees as part of the day’s itinerary.
During this portion of the event Gandam invited Chief Ermineskin from Ermineskin Cree Nation and Chief Saddleback from Samson Cree Nation to speak during this portion of the event. Both Chiefs shared their experiences with racism and how Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities need to build stronger relationships to enhance mutual understanding and respect.
“When our municipal leaders connect at these events, they share ideas and discuss ways to ensure the sustainability of their municipalities and how to make them more welcoming and inclusive,” said AUMA President Barry Morishita.
“These events are valuable for the ongoing work we do to improve the lives of all Albertans and the communities where they live.”