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Statement from the City of Saint John: Samuel Leonard Tilley statue

The City of Saint John recognizes the need to listen to and learn from Indigenous peoples, as we engage in dialogue for the purposes of Truth and Reconciliation.  Events in recent years, and especially the past weeks, have shown that there is much to learn as we embark upon a period of enhanced understanding and consider the path forward towards healing. 

Recently, Common Council offered an historic land acknowledgement at the commencement of the June 14 meeting, read by the Hon. Graydon Nicholas.  Common Council was honoured to have Eastern Circle perform a smudging ceremony and sing the Honour Song. At this meeting, several resolutions were passed as part of our commitment to moving towards Truth and Reconciliation; they can be viewed here.

In February, Common Council approved the establishment of a Civic Commemoration Committee to establish policy and guidelines and carry out public engagement to address commemorations in Saint John with the intent to promote inclusion and diversity.

In response to the recent damage to public monuments, including the painting of the Samuel Leonard Tilley statue located in King's Square early this morning, the City has filed a report with the Saint John Police Force as is our standard policy, and is working quickly to have the paint removed.

The City will continue to engage in consultation with Indigenous representatives in order to further establish meaningful and authentic collaboration with Indigenous peoples.