Town of Elbow, FSIN sign reconciliation pledge

Elbow mayor apologizes for the way he thought about indigenous people in the past as town, FSIN sign reconciliation pledge. Devin Sauer / Global News

A message of hope and healing was signed between the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Town of Elbow.

On Tuesday, officials penned their commitment to eliminate racism together by signing a reconciliation pledge.

READ MORE: University of Saskatchewan reconciliation efforts continue in latest forum

As part of the pledge, Elbow Mayor Rob Hundeby apologized to FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron for the way he thought about indigenous people in the past.

“I was a racist – I had racist thoughts and used to participate in off color jokes,” Hundeby said.

“I used to believe all the stereotypes: First Nations people are lazy; they don’t pay taxes, you name it. I asked for Chief Cameron to forgive me.”

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Hundeby and Cameron started working together after holding a meeting at the recent Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) convention following Cameron’s speech on reconciliation.

READ MORE: Saskatoon Public Library wants people to read for reconciliation

Cameron said racism is a learned behaviour, one that can be unlearned.

“We raise children together, and we’re called upon by the treaties to work together for the peace and prosperity of everyone,” Cameron said.

“The FSIN and its institutions are more than capable of providing education through our shared knowledge. There are no better experts than First Nations people themselves, our elders, leaders and youth.”

Hundeby said there has to be a turning point and wants to ensure his children aren’t brought up with the same beliefs that he had.

“I wanted to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk and I wanted my children to see that we’re all equal and we need to love one either,” Hundeby said.

“We need to respect one another and treat each other as human beings.”

Educational initiatives will be provided to staff and elected officials of the municipality.

It will include the history of the treaty, residential schools, colonialism and the inherent rights of indigenous people.


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