Council responds after public demands anti-racism education

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

The Town of Grimshaw is moving forward with plans for anti-racism education after being contacted by multiple members of the community over the past few weeks.

Grimshaw Mayor Bob Regal and town council have been under pressure to take action ever since a man in a KKK-style hood was spotted at the Grimshaw post office, sparking protests and national controversy.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank the people that have reached out to us,” says a Feb. 16 news release signed by Mayor Regal and council.

“Council continues to move forward by researching, and engaging resources to create awareness and promote diversity, equity and inclusion that supports a strategic plan created by council in consultation with our community.

“The Town of Grimshaw is a place for everyone and we welcome all individuals to our community,” the release adds.

Town council confirms correspondence received from the Black and Indigenous Alliance/Alberta Humanitarian Initiative, as well as council’s responses to that group, will appear on the Feb. 24 meeting agenda.

Natasha Negraiff is also appearing at the meeting after asking to be added to the agenda. Negraiff held a one woman protest Jan. 25 in solidarity with the Alberta Humanitarian Initiative’s protest on Jan. 23.

Despite the pandemic, the Grimshaw council is holding in-person meetings in their council chambers, and members of the public can attend.

Meanwhile, Berwyn FCSS in partnership with neighbouring FCSS programs, is actively working to bring anti-racism and inclusion workshops to the area using online options.

The Peace River School Division board of trustees took anti-racism and allyship training last fall, and moved forward Jan. 21 with their plan to form an anti-racism committee. The committee, which will also include student and staff representation, has been in discussion since May 2020.

PRSD is responsible for over 20 schools in communities across the Peace region including Grimshaw Public School as well as schools in Peace River, Nampa, Fairview and more.

Trustees also plan to attend the upcoming First Nations Métis and Inuit Education virtual gathering hosted by the College of Alberta School and Superintendents.

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