Liberal Leader David Khan and Liberal MLA David Swann have released a joint statement on the renaming ceremony for Reconciliation Bridge set for Saturday May 26:
“As Alberta Liberals we are pleased with the renaming of Langevin Bridge to Reconciliation Bridge.
“Indigenous peoples have suffered terrible treatment. We must acknowledge this painful past and ensure it never happens again. We must also work together to heal those who were harmed and move forward in building respectful supportive relationships. By renaming this bridge we reject a painful chapter in Canadian history and begin to build an inclusive future.
“We need more than symbolic gestures to achieve true Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We must end systemic racism in our society.
“Indigenous agencies are underfunded by 22-34% compared to provincial counterparts. Tens of thousands of First Nations children lack acceptable access to culturally-based child welfare. Education funding on-reserve is far less per capita than off-reserve. Infrastructure is in decay and necessary services like clean water are far less accessible. Indigenous Canadians endure lower incomes, life expectancy and education levels, while suffering higher unemployment, suicide and incarcerations rates.
“Alberta Liberals are determined to end past policies that caused social and economic damage to Indigenous peoples. We are committed to Nation-to-Nation collaboration on new policies to help those who were harmed and support all of us going forward together.
“All Albertans should celebrate the march towards full and sincere Reconciliation. Renaming Calgary’s Reconciliation Bridge is a symbolic but important step forward. The journey is not over.”
Both David Khan and Dr Swann will attend the renaming ceremony starting at 1:30 on Saturday May 26 at the Bridge on Riverfront Ave S.E.
Khan and Swann added, We urge all Calgarians to join us for the ceremony which will begin with Elders holding a prayer circle and then walking across the Bridge together.
David Khan and Dr Swann will both be available for media interviews at the ceremony.