WINDSOR, ONT. -- Caldwell First Nation’s Youth Advisory Committee has brought forth an initiative to the Ontario Regional Chiefs Council.

The youth committee in Leamington has asked for all levels of government to recognize the United Nations declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People and engaged their voices to write a declaration that “the use of street names, monuments, natural spaces, and public buildings that bear the names of historical oppressors of Indigenous Peoples perpetuate the appearance of colonial oppression”, should be dismantled and replaced with “respectful monuments such as current or past Indigenous leaders, allies or clan animals whilst reflecting the promise of Truth and Reconciliation.”

The motion was first supported unanimously from Caldwell First Nation Chief and Council and the call to action was submitted to the Chiefs of Ontario table by CFN Acting Chief Robyn Perkins, where the motion was supported unanimously, with one abstention.

“Empowering our youth is the key to our future because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” said Caldwell Council in a news release. “We must continue to encourage their minds and spirits, as they will make true change for the future of our Nation and for Indigenous people across the original Turtle Island.”

CFN said the motion aligns with Caldwell’s Community Comprehensive Plan, which identified cultural revitalization as a strategic priority.

After receiving support at the Ontario Regional Chief’s table on Aug. 19 and Aug. 20, the motion directs the Ontario Regional Chief to issue a statement of support to all levels of government encouraging action on the proposed motion, as well as issuing a statement of support to the Youth Advisory Committee.