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Kenora’s new Indigenous liaison receives positive feedback from community

By Chloe Hannan Jun 11, 2024 | 4:16 PM

It’s been a week into Ed Mandamin’s new role as Kenora’s Indigenous Relations Advisor.

His role was created to open new relationships between the city and Indigenous communities and enhance an understanding of Truth and Reconciliation.

“I’m in charge of anything that the town needs to build these Indigenous relationships,” said Mandamin.

The community has given him only positive feedback so far.

“Now that I’ve been in the media and people know who I am, people are stopping me on the street to say, ‘it’s about time'”, said Mandamin. “I’ve never had a bad experience with any of the citizens of Kenora yet, so hopefully that will create the positivity needed in this position.”

He will be involved in all city planning, sitting in on all meetings, and finding business opportunities with First Nations.

“Getting First Nations employed in the city itself is also important and finding what the barriers are.”

In addition, he is now in charge of the common ground and places like Budd Lake.

“Kenora is a place for everybody,” said Mandamin. “We’ve been trying to say that since we signed our treaty in 1873.”

He believes that Kenora has come a long way in the last 50 years.

“There used to be no positions here for guys like me and Greg,” said Mandamin. “So, in terms of the economy and residency, we have leaped some boundaries and that deserves to be celebrated.”