Brandon Wins National Municipal Innovation Award For Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021

May 18, 2022

Fredericton, NB – The City of Brandon, MB has received national recognition for its Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021 and Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council partnership from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA).  The municipality was presented with the 2022 CAMA Willis Award for Innovation, in the 20,001-100,000-population category, during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held today.  

“CAMA is pleased to recognize the City of Brandon and the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council for their partnership and innovation in organizing the community’s Truth and Reconciliation Week 2021,” said Jack Benzaquen, CAMA president, CAMA representative for Quebec and City Manager for the City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC. “The BUAPC model is definitely transferable to other local governments, with elected officials and municipal administrators working in solidarity and partnership with Indigenous leadership and organizations, as well as Indigenous people in their communities.” 

Uniting the community, the Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council (BUAPC) developed the week – five days of commemoration, celebration and education focused on the need for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to gather in right relationship.  

The seeds of this remarkable road to reconciliation began in 2010, when Brandon’s City Council created BUAPC. Its central principles of cooperation and collaboration help ensure Indigenous people are reflected in the community they call home.  

BUAPC is composed of leadership from influential Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, institutions, and governments, as well as citizens at large. Each of these participated in making Truth and Reconciliation Week an exceptional success.  

The existence of BUAPC and the services it offers has also deeply affected how City of Brandon departments now consider the needs of Brandon’s Indigenous population in relation to life in an urban centre on a day-to-day basis.  

Working with BUAPC, staff training is being developed and efforts are being carried out by City departments related to Indigenous-led cultural infrastructure and activities.  

It is fully recognized that one week is not enough, and while the next Truth and Reconciliation Week is being planned, BUAPC will work with the City of Brandon to find ways to weave cultural reconciliation teaching into municipal efforts. 

“Truth and Reconciliation Week is the result of 12 years of conversation, learning, healing, relationship-building and action in the community,” said City of Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest. “We are pleased to support the efforts of BUAPC at the department and community level.” 

“Truth and reconciliation aren’t just words any more – they have become a reality,” stated BUAPC chairperson Leah LaPlante. “The week was a great example of people coming together to learn and laugh and feast together. Notable among the events were the Orange Shirt Day Walk, which drew 700 to 1,000 Brandonites, and the evening entertainment event, entitled Healing by the River, which drew 500 participants.” 

“The CAMA Awards of Excellence recognize the achievements of local governments and their senior staff in the development and implementation of successful programs, projects or services,” said Gary Kent, Chair of the 2022 CAMA Awards, CAMA Member-At-Large for Municipalities with a Population Over 100,000, and Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Corporate Services for the Region of Peel, ON. “Thirty-five submissions from across the country were received for this year’s awards. Congratulations to the winners and all those who took time to enter the awards program.” 

To find out more about the City of Brandon’s award, as well as the other 2022 CAMA Awards of Excellence winners, visit and look for the award recipients link.