OLDS — Town administrative staff are working on policies for flying Indigenous, Inuit and Metis flags.
Council has been told that proposed policies likely won’t be brought forward until some time during the next town council term. The next council will be chosen during the Oct. 18 municipal election. Its term expires in 2026.
Coun. Mitch Thomson raised the idea during town council’s policies and priorities meeting.
“In reading through the policy, there is no reference (to protocol for flying flags representing those people),” Thomson said.
“And as we’re all treaty people on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot confederacy and the Metis Nation of Alberta, I wonder if we might add that protocol to our flag.”
Kelly Lloyd, the town’s coordinator of strategic affairs, said administrative staff have had some discussions about doing so, especially in view of the town’s decision to officially become a welcoming and inclusive community.
She and chief administrative officer Michael Merritt said staff can research that idea and bring a proposal back to council.
“It is prerogative of council to take a look. If you want to have research and have something put into policy sooner rather than later, it is something that we as administration can definitely do,” Lloyd said.
Acting director of operations Doug Wagstaff confirmed that some research into that idea has already been undertaken by town staff.
He said it’s his understanding that protocols around flying flags for those communities will be brought forward for the next council to explore, as part of a welcoming and inclusive community's plan.
That rang a bell with deputy mayor Heather Ryan.
"I believe we had a discussion with regards to the Indigenous flags and which one we were going to fly because there was some dispute over which one was relevant and which one -- we weren’t quite sure which one, so there was going to be some kind of review of that,” she said.