DAN CEARNS, The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) continue working on their relationship collaboratively.
At a Scugog council meeting on Monday, February 27th, MSIFN Chief Kelly LaRocca was invited to perform a smudging ceremony and to make remarks to council.
“I’m really honoured. I realize this is a brand-new council, and you are all here to serve our township. I’m really grateful that you would think to have us here,” Chief LaRocca said.
Chief LaRocca had performed a smudging for the previous term of Scugog council as well. Chief LaRocca stated she feels this council is showing “with actions, as well as words, that [they] are committed to a relationship.”
The local first nations chief called smudging a “sacred engagement” and said bringing this ceremony to council was “a way of sharing in something together [which] adds a little solemnity.”
Chief LaRocca also provided councillors with a short history lesson on the Williams Treaties.
Mayor Wilma Wotten called the moment “timely” and said it is “important to acknowledge the importance of our relationship with the MSIFN.”