At its January 17 meeting, District council voted unanimously in favour of joining other Ontario municipalities in declaring February Black History Month.
The motion was brought forth by the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Anti-Racism (IDEA) Advisory Group, and its chair Mark Nakamura.
The resolution states that whereas the District Municipality of Muskoka has declared Muskoka to be an inclusive and diverse community that endeavours to promote equity and anti-racism, the District recognizes “the importance of responding to acts of anti-black racism in the wake of the George Floyd murder, which Council did by approving its initiative of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and antiracism, otherwise known as IDEA.”
It also states that council “wishes to recognize the history, heritage, and contributions of African-Canadians…,” and directs staff to “work with the IDEA Advisory Group to develop a meaningful and culturally appropriate response to ensure the District fully recognizes and celebrates Black History Month in February 2023 and beyond.”
The resolution also directs staff and elected officials to “continue to find ways to increase inclusivity and celebrate diversity in our communities.”
Councillor Heidi Lorenz noted the appropriateness of passing such a resolution on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and shared one of his quotes: “Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a better person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.”
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