Wetaskiwin library seeks funding changes for First Nations services

The City of Wetaskiwin Library Board is urging the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to create a more streamlined process to allow libraries...

City of Wetaskiwin

City of Wetaskiwin

The City of Wetaskiwin Library Board is urging the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to create a more streamlined process to allow libraries to access funding for First Nations services.

Late last year the Wetaskiwin Public Library received $25,000. However, the funds dictated by Municipal Affairs are given in whole to the Yellowhead Regional Library and from there Wetaskiwin can apply for a grant for a portion of the funds.

“Yellowhead receives (funds) based on the number of First Nations populations in the city,” said city councillor June Boyda, chair of the City of Wetaskiwin Library Board.

A letter signed by Boyda, in her capacity as chair, addressed to Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs, states, “While the principal and intent of this initiative is incredible, the distribution method is not. We are respectfully requesting that this funding be distributed directly to the individual libraries impacted by the increased service provision.”

The board is also requesting a review of the First Nations populations assigned to each library/library system.

While the city sees library patrons from the four First Nations Bands at Maskwacis Ermineskin Cree Nation, Louis Bull Cree Nation, Montana First Nation, and Samson Cree Nation the library is only designated to recognize Ermineskin Cree Nation and a portion of Samson Cree Nation.

“The City of Wetaskiwin sees as much as, or more, traffic from each of the First Nations than southern trading centres such as Ponoka, where the balance of the funding was directed. The tax base from the residents of Wetaskiwin simply cannot absorb the full amount of the difference in the value of library services being provided by the Wetaskiwin Public Library,” states the letter.

With the funds the Wetaskiwin Public Library received it has been able to offer book clubs and early literacy programs on-site at the Nipsis Café and Collective, conduct outreach visits to schools, participate in job fairs to make residents aware of employment related resources, work with the healing lodge Sâkâstêw Centre to encourage literacy development within the incarcerated population, hire an indigenous library services coordinator, and eliminate library membership fees for First Nations members.

“We want to keep things open for everybody so there’s no barriers,” said Boyda.

She added the city and county Wetaskiwin residents already enjoyed free library memberships and, since the decision to eliminate the fees for First Nations members, more than 300 new memberships have come from Maskwacis.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pipestone Flyer file photo
Nominations now open for 2021 general municipal election

Nominations for Wetaskiwin’s general municipal election are now open until Sept. 20, 2021.

Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
 Facebook/ Jocelyne Pepin Young
Millet Couple share their COVID project, Little Free Library, with the community

They took inspiration from others doing similar book shares around Millet and Wetaskiwin.

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Red Fraggle, one of Jim Henson Company’s Fraggle Rock characers, is shown at Time To Play Holiday Show, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010, in New York. The Jim Henson Company says production has officially started in Calgary on a reboot of the original 1980s children’s puppet series, which was filmed in Toronto.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mark Lennihan
‘Fraggle Rock’ children’s puppet series reboot starts production in Calgary

A spokesperson says the new series will stream on Apple TV plus

A registered nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Yukon’s Minister of Community Services, John Streiker, says he’s outraged that a couple from outside the territory travelled to a remote community this week and received doses of COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-POOL
Couple charged after travelling to Yukon to get COVID-19 vaccine

The maximum fine under the emergency measures act is $500, and up to six months in jail

Metis Nation of B.C. President Clara Morin Dal Col poses in this undated handout photo. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. The Metis Nation of B.C. says Dal Col has been suspended from her role as president. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Metis Nation of B.C. *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Metis Nation of B.C. suspends president, citing ‘breach’ of policies, procedures

Vice-president Lissa Smith is stepping in to fill the position on an acting basis

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

Former governors general are entitled to a pension and also get a regular income paid to them for the rest of their lives

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read