City launches new strategy to improve supports for urban Indigenous people

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The city doesn’t know what the strategy will look like yet, but it’s hired Shylo Elmayan to do the work

By Samantha Craggs

More than 15,000 Hamiltonians are of Indigenous descent, and many suffer unique challenges — with finding jobs, with access to education, with poverty in general.

Now Shylo Elmayan is tasked with figuring out exactly how to bridge the gap between the city and its Indigenous population, including addressing how to provide supports to those members of the community who need them.

‘It’s about letting people be heard.’Shylo Elmayan

Elmayan, who is Anishnawbe and raised on Hamilton Mountain, will spend the next year and a half working on the city’s first urban Indigenous strategy. It’s an effort aimed at better linking the city with the estimated 15,084 people of Indigenous descent who live here.

It’s early in the 18-month process. Elmayan isn’t sure what exactly that strategy will look like yet, or what it will entail. But she knows what she wants it to achieve — a city that reaches out more to its Indigenous people, and offers better services.

“There’s a recognition and an understanding that a strong relationship with Indigenous people is important in Hamilton,” she said.

With the strategy, “we want to make bigger strides.”

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Article and image source: CBC Hamilton

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