Wood Buffalo council is looking to add anti-racism teaching at schools across the province.
They met on Tuesday where they approved sending a letter to Adriana LaGrange, the provincial Education Minister, to update the current curriculum.
Along with anti-racism content, council is advocating to add the history of colonialism, enslavement, and genocide in Canada which would integrate Indigenous history and culture.
“A lot of this stuff, I didn’t learn in school especially when it came to Indigenous history and I did school in two provinces, so this would be a good thing,” said Councillor Sheila Lalonde.
This was one of several recommendations from the Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equality.
During the summer, RACIDE held multiple conversation cafes where community members anonymously shared their lived experiences.
They used the information they gathered at the virtual meetings to come up with multiple recommendations to council, however, not everyone was approved.
RACIDE was hoping the municipality allocate $200,000 to support additional training for municipal employees and develop a Gender-Based Analysis Plus workshop which is an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups may experience policies, programs, and initiatives.
Council also voted against updating the Committees Bylaw which would have added four more members to RACIDE and change their name to Regional Advisory Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity.
Councillors Lalonde, Keith McGrath, Phil Meagher, Verna Murphy and Claris Voyageur were opposed.
Councillors Mike Allen and Bruce Inglis didn’t take part in the meeting.
Murphy noted her concern was about the timing, not the initiatives.
“I want this to be moving forward but I want to do it the best way out the gate so that it doesn’t bail.”
The municipality recently paid the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion to conduct an online diversity and inclusion survey of employees which just wrapped up on December 4.
The idea is to use the findings to help develop programs.
Murphy also noted she wanted to hear more from the public before making any final decision.