Edmonton City Hall to fly Metis, Treaty 6 flags

Skaters at Edmonton City Hall Feb. 2016. Emily Mertz, Global News

Edmonton’s flag flap appears to be over for now as city council voted in favour of flying the Metis and Treaty 6 flags outside Edmonton City Hall.

The flags will soon be hoisted outside city hall and will fly next to the current municipal, Albertan and Canadian flags.

The decision was made Tuesday. Coun. Michael Oshry voted against the motion, suggesting the city should only fly the flags of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

“I think that’s the way it should stay. We have opportunities to fly other flags on another community pole. But at the end of the day, the treaties were made not with the city. They were made with other levels of government and those are the levels of government that I think should be flying the other Treaty flags,” he said.

“This is about the technicalities of flying government flags at city hall.”

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The decision was made Tuesday. The discussion was spurred by Mayor Don Iveson, who in November asked city administration to look into the public’s opinion on the current municipal flag. Edmontonians were also asked to weigh in on their opinion of a flag designed by Ryan McCourt, which was presented to the city by the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations in August.

McCourt’s flag design was part of an art contest on the theme of Treaty 6 Day. Iveson wrote in a blog post last fall that the design was drawn from the text of the treaty, which reminds settlers and First Nations beneficiaries that the treaty is not time-limited, but enduring “as long as the sun shines, as long as the grass grows, and as long as the river flows.”

Ryan McCourt’s flag design. Credit, City of Edmonton

Survey results released earlier this month showed many Edmontonians were indifferent about the issue, some didn’t even know Edmonton had a municipal flag.

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The survey was conducted by the city in January and received more than 1,600 responses.

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