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  INDIGENOUS COMMISSION MEETING
VIRTUAL TEAMS MEETING
211 WEST ASPEN AVENUE
             THURSDAY, 4:30 P.M., OCTOBER 14, 2021
             
1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order by Co-Chair Washington at 4:45 PM.
             
2. Roll Call
NOTE: One or more Commission Members may be in attendance telephonically or by other technological means.
Diana Cudeii, Ex-Officio: Present
Dorothy Gishie, Ex-Officio: Present
Meg Kabotie Adakai, E-Officio: Present
Cora M. Phillips, Co-Chair: Excused Absence
Joe. W. Washington, Co-Chair: Present
Courtney Scott: Present
Fawn Toya: Excused Absence
Kiara Weathersby: Present
Shawna Whitehat: Absent
Jonathan Yellowhair: Present

Others in attendance: City Manager Greg Clifton; City Attorney Sterling Solomon; Interim PA Director Sarah Langley; CODA Staff Liaison Jessica Vigorito; CODA Commissioners DeeAnn Wegwart, Dan Duke, and Jean Toner; Sustainability Director Nicole Antonopoulos.
             
3. Public Comment

At this time, any member of the public may address the Commission on any subject within their jurisdiction that is not scheduled before the Commission on that day. Due to Open Meeting Laws, the Commission cannot discuss or act on items presented during this portion of the agenda. To address the Commission on an item that is on the agenda, please wait for the Chair to call for Public Comment at the time the item is heard. (Five minutes maximum per speaker)

Staff Liaison Rose Toehe provided the following information: The Alternate Response Model mobile transport unit is the RFP piece moving forward. Some suggestions provided for the mobile unit are BHART (Behavioral Health Alternate Response Team) and CARE (Community Alternative Response Effort). Feedback needed. Also a quick update provided on Indigenous Peoples Day event on October 11. There were over 160 registered individuals. Great turnout. On November 2nd, Mayor Deasy will provide the Native American Heritage Month proclamation at the City Council meeting.
             
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
             
A. Approval of Minutes for June 10, 2021 Regular Meeting; July 30, 2021 Retreat Meeting; and August 12, 2021 Regular Meeting
Motion to approve Minutes as is or approve with amendments.
Due to several Minutes to be reviewed, these will be sent to the Indigenous Commission prior to the required 24 hour posting of agenda. All draft Minutes are available to the public on the city website.

Commissioner Scott made a motion to accept all three Minutes as is. Commissioner Yellowhair seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
             
5. GENERAL BUSINESS AND POSSIBLE VOTE
             
A. Land Acknowledgement
Presentation by Staff Liaison Rose Toehe and City Attorney Sterling Solomon on Indigenous Commission's recommendation to Flagstaff City Council. Discussion will encompass the dialogue from both Indigenous Commission and City Council. This may include further recommendation and another vote from Indigenous Commission.

Staff Liaison Rose Toehe started with a background presentation on the journey of the Land Acknowledgement which started in late 2020. While this was embedded in the 2016-17 Indigenous town forums under the Visibility recommendation, further input was needed for the formation of the Land Acknowledgement. These were areas of contact for input: Area Indigenous nations' historic preservation offices, various nation/tribal leaders, traditional practitioners, elders, and community members. In addition, commissioners also provided input from their contact circles. The Indigenous Commission was tasked with the responsibility to formulate the acknowledgement at their meetings and retreat. Thereafter, a recommendation was made to City leadership and legal counsel. The recommendation was slated for a City Council meeting agenda when it was advised to go into Executive Session where Council made a counter recommendation - it is on the agenda for discussion at this meeting.

Commissioner Gishie stated that it is important to keep the original language as much as possible, as it does come from Indigenous voice. Two version were compared and discussed. Mr. Solomon explained that it was the Council's intent to be the most inclusive and to have neutrality. He also noted that it is understood that not all voices are presented but it is much better than it had been. The Commission is representing the Indigenous voice. All City Council members are embracing an addition of the Land Acknowledgement. Co-chair Washington expressed that it is the Commission's duty to advise the Council and it should be candid when it does so. Commissioners were encouraged to speak their truth and voice their opinions.

After a lengthy and thorough discussion, the Commission proposed the following recommendation to be sent back to the City Council. The only change was to capitalize Indigenous and Native.

The Flagstaff City Council humbly acknowledges the ancestral homelands of this area's Indigenous nations and original stewards. These lands, still inhabited by Native descendants, border mountains sacred to Indigenous peoples. We honor them, their legacies, their traditions, and their continued contributions. We celebrate their past, present, and future generations who will forever know this place as home.

City Manager Clifton and Mr. Solomon thanked the Commission for their diligent work.
Commissioner Scott motioned to approve the changes to the Land Acknowledgement as recommended by the Indigenous Commission and resend to the City Council for approval. Commissioner Weathersby seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
             
6. DISCUSSION ITEMS
             
A. The Commission on Diversity Awareness (CODA) presentation

CODA and Staff Liaison Jessica Vigoito would like to introduce themselves and discuss their current projects and potential opportunities for partnering. Below are items CODA would like to present:
  • referrals of issues/topics to the Indigenous Commission
  • possible support from CODA for the proposed Land Acknowledgement
  • presentation given to CODA by the Native American Club regarding renaming of the Peaks
To start this discussion, Ms. Jessica Vigoito introduced CODA and members introduced themselves, which included Commissioners DeeAnn Wegwart, Dan Duke, and Jean Toner. Both Commissioners Wegwart and Toner expressed their desire to connect with the Indigenous Commission around the topics coming to CODA which are related to Indigenous issues, i.e. Flagstaff High School (FHS) Native American Club.

There was high support for the FHSl Native American Club who is working to change the name of the San Francisco Peaks. Some talking points included supporting a resolution to City Council, a letter of support, and assist in identifying resources for the group. Ms. Vigoito will send a link on the presentation. Suggested for a future agenda item.

After discussion among the Commissioners and the topics as listed in the agenda, the summary is that the Indigenous Commission welcomes the support and collaboration with said subjects with CODA. CODA will support the recommendation of the proposed Land Acknowledgement at the City Council meeting. For the future, CODA will consult with the Indigenous Commission on Indigenous topics and the Indigenous Commission will participate. This will be an important relationship as expressed by Co-Chair Washington.
             
B. Sustainability Matrix Presentation
The Sustainability Section would like the Commission’s input on the Sustainability Matrix they developed. The matrix is a voluntary decision tool that will be provided to elected officials to promote consistency.

Sustainability Director, Nicole Antonopoulos, provided an introductory and brief overview of the Sustainability Matrix and its intent. The sustainability matrix is to be offered as a tool to decision-makers. It is to be a helpful tool to higher level policymakers to help them support holistic, inclusive, and consistent decisions. Sometimes, initiatives or projects are brought in isolation and they compete or conflict with other City goals. The matrix will help to breakdown the walls of isolation. Ms. Antonopoulos would appreciate the Commissioners for any input, edit or feedback. The matrix materials will be sent out. The matrix will be offered up to City Council in the new year.
             
8. INFORMATIONAL ITEMS TO/FROM COMMISSION MEMBERS, STAFF, AND FUTURE AGENDA ITEM REQUESTS

No reports from Commissioners.
A future agenda item: FHS Native American Club on "Renaming the San Francisco Peaks".
             
9. ADJOURNMENT
Co-chair Washington adjourned the meeting at 6:32 PM.

    

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