Tuesday, 10 Aug 2021  |  Reading time:  14 mins  | Read online

Welcome to the Global Local newsletter from LGIU!

Each week we’ll focus on a different global topic, highlighting innovative content and insights from LGIU and our members around the world.  

Indigenous Communities

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Indigenous communities across the world have often faced significant challenges in terms of accessing vital local public services, adequate representation and meaningful dialogue with institutions on important policy issues. Local government, being the tier of government people have the most interactions with on a daily basis, can be best placed to change the tone and substance of relationships between communities. This issue of the Global Local Recap takes a look at how communities and institutions are moving forward with sensitivity to create new understandings and better outcomes. 

Parts of the world where Indigeneity is not the way that tensions are framed can learn from others when it comes to listening to marginalized communities, assessing and addressing differential impact, and working through tensions created by different patterns of land usage and conflicting cultural traditions. For example, in the UK and Ireland, some have argued that policy approaches developed with and for Indigenous peoples could be helpful in the context of Traveller and Roma communities as we examine here.
 
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This week's featured content

"Leaving no one behind": the call for local action to advance the rights of Indigenous peoples

By Melissa Thorne, LGIU

So why now? The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is commemorated annually on 9 August to celebrate the cultures, knowledges and resilience of more than 476 million Indigenous peoples across the globe, as well as the ongoing issues they face concerning rights and recognition.

The pandemic required Indigenous peoples to take strong action to protect their communities, stalled political processes and exacerbated inequalities.

All levels of government now have an opportunity to help create a more equitable future for Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups by addressing trust, participation and high-level policy implementation issues and creating spaces for genuine engagement.

“The United Nations needs local government’s help.”

What can local government do? Speakers at this year's UN virtual commemoration spoke passionately about the need for high-level declarations and dialogue to have a tangible impact on the lives of real people.

Former UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés called for a “reconnection of scales” between international, national and local level decision-making.

James Anaya, former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, emphasised the need for abstract documents to be translated into concrete action to improve the lives of Indigenous peoples.

Globally, there have been some positive developments, Anaya said, but “legitimacy” for reform and action “depends on the participation of Indigenous peoples" and “so far there has been a lack of sufficient political will.”

LGIU Global Local Highlights

 

Noongar Native Title Settlement: Australia’s first treaty?
Last year, the High Court of Australia cleared the final hurdle for the largest native title settlement in Australian history by dismissing all appeals before the Court. As the process gets underway, we takes a detailed look at the South West Native Title Settlement, the implications for local governments in Western Australia, and what this settlement means for local governments more broadly. 
Read the briefing here.

Giving the community a say, ‘Planning Vancouver Together’
In 2019, City of Vancouver Council released the ‘Planning Vancouver Together ‘(PVT) plan, a three-year programme to involve the community in the development of the city. The hope is that by listening to the opinions of community members with different experiences of the city, PVT can address the needs of the present felt by all and ensure future generations can thrive. 
Read the briefing here.

Covid-19: Vulnerability of Indigenous Australians not a new phenomenon
This briefing looks at how Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and governments responded quickly and decisively to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities from Covid-19, and considers immediate and longer-term implications for remote communities. 
Read the briefing here.

Innovation & Inspiration

Curated case studies and news from around the globe

CANADA: Interactive map seeks to improve First Nations involvement in planning decisions

An interactive tool is being developed to make it easier for First Nations peoples' voices to be heard in land-use planning decisions. The Shared Land Map will allow 12 or more First Nations to specify their territories and borders in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area of southern Ontario, so municipal planners know who they should collaborate with, while reducing the burden of irrelevant requests on First Nations groups. More than 80 planners will learn how to use the tool, which supports community engagement directions in the Government of Ontario’s Provincial Policy Statement, 2020. The tool is inspired by the Arizona Consultation Map.
Anishinabek News / Rick Garrick

Related: Indigenous healing garden next to Canadian municipal building to show reconciliation commitment StrathmoreNow / Allie Ruckman

AUSTRALIA: Unanimous support for national recognition of Aboriginal-controlled councils

A motion calling for nationally-consistent recognition of Indigenous Councils passed unanimously at the National General Assembly of Local Government last month. Proposed by East Arnhem Regional Council, the motion is intended to empower Aboriginal-controlled councils, which currently have limited access to resources—including self-sourced rate revenue—restricting their ability to provide much-needed services, said Australian Local Government Association President Linda Scott. “[This] motion shows the strong commitment of local government to supporting the very real desire of Indigenous Councils to give their communities life outcomes that are equal to those enjoyed by all Australians,” Cr Scott said.
Australian Local Government Association

Related: Bilingual school in remote Aboriginal community prioritises local learning needs to keep kids in education ABC News / Emma Masters

GLOBAL: Nature-based local initiatives by Indigenous communities recognised in Equator Prize 2021

Ten innovative projects addressing climate change and biodiversity loss through local and Indigenous communities’ expertise have been awarded US$10,000 each in the 12th Equator Prize. Chosen from more than 600 nominations, the winning initiatives were selected due to their community focus and potential for scalability to improve global biodiversity issues. Prize-winners include a Kyrgyzstan advocacy group that encourages villages to transition to organic, traditional agriculture and inspired a government commitment to nationwide organic agriculture this decade and a Costa Rican collective promoting food security during the pandemic and in the face of climate change.
UN Development Programme

Related: Plan to protect and promote traditional knowledge in national policy-making advances in Guyana UNESCO

MEXICO: Maya language to be celebrated in hybrid event series

A series of events to promote Maya language and its role in local cultural identity are being held this month by Mérida City Council in honour of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. Events include a virtual conference discussing the role of music within Indigenous communities, a session on Maya language structures, a video in Maya language and the launch of a comic. Students at the Municipal Academy of the Maya Language Itzamná will receive Maya Language Interpreter certificates at the end of the month. Mayor Renán Barrera Concha said the council developed this initiative as part of its commitment to represent its whole population in a sensitive and supportive way.
The Yucatan Times

Related: Indigenous people living in Brazilian cities challenge preconceptions and assert cultural pride Mongabay / Karla Mendes

Policy & Resources

Celebrate and share: Indigenous communities are often recognised by their art and culture. Local government can and should help celebrate artistic and cultural contributions, but must do so with sensitivity.

– Wellington City Council in New Zealand is developing Aho Tini 2030, an arts, culture and creativity strategy that incorporates Māori language throughout and has "Partnership with Māori/Aho Hononga" as one of four key focus areas.
Mornington Peninsula Shire in Australia has been working in cooperation with the National Broadband Network and local artists to make Aboriginal art a part of everyday life.
– The City of Calgary, Alberta in Canada has highlighted its promotion of Indigenous art in the context of reconciliation and Indigenous curation.
– The Ontario Arts Council has a short video exploring the issues of cultural celebration and cultural appropriation across visual and performing arts and the importance of protocols and reciprocity. 

Read: As communities around the world seek to rebuild their tourism industries, the World Tourism Organization and the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance have developed new guidelines to ensure Indigenous communities can lead tourism recovery. Supporting Indigenous businesses and keeping communities safe are just part of the approach for creating a more equitable tourism industry. See the guidance here.

Listen: The Gomaluku Podcast features interviews with Indigenous leaders around the world and tackles issues on politics, rights, business and culture.

Interested in other LGIU Global content?

LGIU Fortnightly podcast – Charging the future: hydrogen and local government

LGIU's Ingrid Koehler speaks to Rob Dale, founder of Beyond2050, about hydrogen and its potential value to local government. Next episode, we'll be hearing from Sherri Rollins, a councillor in Winnipeg about representation, Indigeneity and more. 
Listen to the podcast here.

#CityHallSelfie Day

Each year, Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) celebrates the love of local government with its #CityHallSelfie Day on Twitter. This year, it’s on Friday 13 August. With many of us still working at home, local government folk who are serving citizens from anywhere are welcome. We encourage you to take part and check out the many wonderful snaps shared with ELGL through the years. 
Find out more here.

Global Local Executive Panel: Building community wealth

LGiU Australia and VLGA are bringing together a panel of expert speakers from Australia and Scotland to discuss community wealth building in the latest of our executive panel series.

Date: 19 August
Time: 17:30 AEST / 08:30 BST

Thanks for reading!

Next week, we're focusing on community wealth building. We'll explore how local authorities can take a community-centred approach to local development, helping to create a fairer, more sustainable economy that directs wealth back to the local community. We'll highlight real-life examples and policy innovation.

Want us to cover a topic? Get in touch!

If you would like to share your story, you can fill in this simple form or drop me a line at ingrid.koehler@lgiu.org. Please forward this free newsletter to a colleague or share it on social media to help us reach even more people who value local government globally. We tweet from @GlobalLocalLGIU.

Want more content? Visit our website to access our Global Local briefings, blogs, podcast and more.

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