Where the candidates stand on the city's approach to truth and reconciliation

· The Pulse
By Karen Unland
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Of all of the candidates who have responded to the Taproot Survey so far, no one thinks Edmonton is doing more than it should to uphold the spirit and specifics of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action.

They do differ, however, on whether they think the current approach is sufficient or the city should do more.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued 94 calls to action in 2015 to recognize the harm done by residential schools and repair the damage that continues to this day. In response, the City of Edmonton developed an Indigenous Framework, which was endorsed by city council in February.

We asked this of candidates running for mayor or councillor in the upcoming municipal election: Do you support the city's current approach to upholding the spirit and specifics of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 calls to action?

As of Sept. 30, 64 of the 85 candidates have responded to our survey. Of those, 32 chose "Yes, I support the current approach," while 29 chose "No, the city should do more." Three candidates said they don't have a position on this issue. All of their responses, plus any future responses, are visible on the question page.

Among the mayoral candidates, Rick Comrie, Kim Krushell, and Diana Steele said they supported the current approach. Abdul Malik Chukwudi (who has since endorsed fellow mayoral candidate Mike Nickel), Brian (Breezy) Gregg, Michael Oshry, Amarjeet Sohi, and Cheryll Watson said the city should do more. Vanessa Denman, Augustine Marah, and Mike Nickel have not responded.

A screenshot of the mayoral candidates' responses to the Taproot Survey question on the city's approach to the TRC's calls to action

Here's what the mayoral candidates who responded to the Taproot Survey by Sept. 30 said about the city's approach to the TRC's calls to action. Visit the question page for further context.

You can compare the candidates within each ward from the links on the wards page.

The city's Indigenous Framework lays out four roles (listener, connector, advocate, and partner) for employees to adopt when interacting with Indigenous people. It also makes seven commitments, including a pledge to "eliminate the systemic racism and discrimination that Indigenous Peoples face in Edmonton" in partnership with organizations, businesses, academic institutions, other orders of government, and individual citizens.

CBC's Beyond 94 tracker indicates that 13 of the calls to action have been completed so far, including the establishment of a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, which Canada marked for the first time on Sept. 30. The Government of Alberta did not recognize it as a statutory holiday, but the City of Edmonton did, and most municipalities in the region marked the day in some way.

Of the rest of the calls to action, 29 are in progress with projects underway; 32 are in progress with projects proposed; and 20 are not started, says Beyond 94.