Safety and Well-being within the urban Indigenous community 

Focus Group

L-R: Feather Metatwabin, Christina Kioke, Sabrina Vincent, Mayor Michelle Boileau, Councillor Cory Robin, Jennifer Constant, Angie Bourgeois, Roxanne Martin, and Hazel Esquat


Timmins ON - On July 31, 2023, I had the privilege to meet with over 24 community members representing nine Indigenous service agencies and organizations that operate within the city of Timmins. The purpose was to discuss the safety and well-being of their clients, colleagues, families, and friends.

The discussion was difficult. Their experiences of racism, marginalization, trauma, and fear are disheartening. These conversations are necessary, however, to understand how and why Timmins needs to improve.

What gave me hope was the sincere request for accountability, action, and understanding. Everyone in attendance came with a purpose and a plan. Recommendations included trauma training for City Council; a review of past, present, and future municipal policies to ensure fairness and equity; and, anti-stigma communication to highlight Indigenous success stories and role models. We spoke of how the City can support cross-cultural education and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents, including new Canadians. We identified the need for affordable housing and for clarification around property standards and enforcement.

There was mention of ‘movement and milestones’ – the need for action now to foster well-being, and the need for long-term planning of solution-based initiatives, which can help to empower the Indigenous community. One ask was for an increase in Indigenous-led, culture-based outreach that Council had also identified. A contract for the City’s Outreach Services pilot project has since been awarded to Mushkegowuk Fire Keeper Patrol to start later this month.

Council remains committed to delivering on the calls to action for Truth and Reconciliation, addressing human needs, and establishing an economic alliance with Indigenous partners.


Mayor Michelle Boileau, City of Timmins

Posted by Amanda Dyer On 8/9/2023 at 3:32 PM  

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