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Letter to Mayor of Sioux Lookout re: Indigenous reconciliation

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March 30, 2017

Mayor Doug Lawrance
Office of the Mayor
25 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 158
Sioux Lookout, ON P8T 1A4

Dear Mayor Lawrance,

Thank you for meeting with us on February 15th. It was a pleasure meeting you and discussing the serious work of reconciliation being undertaken by you and the City of Sioux Lookout.

As you know, during our visit we met with members of Sioux Lookout’s Indigenous community and staff from the Meno Ya Win Health Centre.  We heard many positive comments about your leadership in terms of reconciliation and cooperation, along with references to ongoing challenges and needs related to policing, housing, health care,  and general public and media attitudes towards Indigenous people. However, despite concerns raised, it is clear that Sioux Lookout is a leader in modeling serious efforts at reconciliation.

As you had articulated clearly in our meeting, the future of Sioux Lookout is tied to full reconciliation and cooperation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, including local First Nations. I encourage you to continue your proactive efforts in this direction.  

Please feel free to contact me should you see any role for the OHRC in supporting municipal Indigenous reconciliation efforts or progress on any other human rights-related issues.


Renu Mandhane, B.A., J.D., LL.M.
Chief Commissioner
Ontario Human Rights Commission

cc:  Hon. David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

Hon. Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty
Reduction Strategy

Chief Clifford Bull, Lac Seul First Nation

Jennifer Thomas, Executive Director (A), Nishnawbe Gamik Friendship Centre

OHRC Commissioners