The Town of Olds is committed to promoting and developing a welcoming and inclusive community.
The Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) initiative, is driven by a partnership between Alberta Municipalities and the Government of Alberta. It works to support municipalities as they implement policies and practices that help overcome issues of racism and discrimination.
The WIC initiative works to create communities where all residents and visitors enjoy a sense of belonging and where diversity adds to the social and economic vibrancy of the community, improving the quality of life for all residents.
In 2021, the Town of Olds joined the WIC initiative.
The Town of Olds has a shared responsibility with other municipalities to foster equality for all citizens. The Town strives to make sure the decisions made are in the best interests of everyone in our community and is actively working with strategies that take meaningful action to eliminate racism and discrimination.
Many initiatives in Olds align with a commitment to effectively address societal issues related to cultural diversity. Local community efforts in developing a creative, welcoming, and inclusive community include:
- Olds High School is an UNESCO school;
- hosting a National Indigenous Peoples Day, an annual event celebrating the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by showcasing the talent and unique accomplishments of Indigenous Peoples in Olds area;
- an active Association of Filipino-Canadians;
- Olds is the 1st Fair Trade Town in Alberta.
Town of Olds initiatives include:
- supporting the UNESCO Conference and Diversity Days at Olds High School;
- support of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Planning Committee/Olds Indigenous Connections to assist with their community projects including Blanket Exercises, educational films and live performances;
- a full-time Heritage Advisor on Town staff to facilitate and champion cultural diversity through community support for understanding and sharing;
- exploring Town participation in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Welcoming and Inclusive Communities initiative as a community development strategy;
- encouraging staff to take Indigenous awareness training, and several staff have completed course certifications;
- support for the Mountain View Moccasin House Society in its work with a steering group of community members to create programs in the community that reduce the prevalence and impacts of racism;
- Town involvement in co-facilitating blanket exercises throughout the community and assistance with hosting a large National Indigenous People’s Day event (June 2020 was to be our fourth year);
- in December of 2019 Town Council decided to participate in the “Understanding and Addressing Racism in Rural Canada” project to be directed and implemented by the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities of the University of Alberta (unfortunately its implementation has been postponed due to the COVID-19 health crisis).
Rural communities are becoming more and more diverse and it is important, both in terms of social cohesion and in terms of cultural and economic development, that we come to better understand this diversity. As a progressive, growing community Olds prides itself in being an active rural leader. We still have work to do. Large or small, every community does.
Conversations change communities. That is what the Town of Olds will continue to do, facilitate conversations and continue to take steps to grow our community together.
Recognition of Treaty Territories
The Town of Olds is on the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region of Alberta which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Piikanni, and Kainai First Nations), as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Stoney Nakoda Nations (Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley First Nations). This area is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.
Olds is Proud to be a Fair Trade Town - To educate and encourage citizens to embrace fair trade concepts in their business and personal lives.
Mountain View Moccasin House Society - Where community and culture unite.
Olds Indigenous Connections - celebrating the cultural diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples by discovering the unique accomplishments of Indigenous Peoples in Olds area.