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MINUTES
    INDIGENOUS COMMISSION
VIRTUAL TEAMS MEETING
211 WEST ASPEN AVENUE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022,12:00 P.M.
             
1. Call to Order
Co-chair Washington called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM.
             
2. Roll Call
NOTE: One or more Commission Members may be in attendance telephonically or by other technological means.
Diana Cudeii, Ex-Officio; Present
Meg Kabotie Adakai, Ex-Officio; Present, joined at 12:22 PM
Vacant Seat, Ex-Officio
Cora M. Phillips, Co-Chair; Excused Absence
Joe. W. Washington, Co-Chair; Present
Darrell Marks; Present
Fawn Toya; Present
Kiara Weathersby; Present
Shawna Whitehat; Present
Jonathan Yellowhair; Excused Absence

Others present: Rose Toehe, Staff Liaison; Jana Weldon, Interim Beautification Arts & Science Program Manager, Presenter; DeAnn Wegwert, Chair of CODA; Jean Toner, CODA member; Shirley Conrad, NAU; Jenna Ortega, Sustainability Department.
             
A.
LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The Flagstaff City Council humbly acknowledges the ancestral homelands of this area’s Indigenous nations and original stewards. These lands, still inhabited by Native descendants, border mountains sacred to Indigenous peoples. We honor them, their legacies, their traditions, and their continued contributions. We celebrate their past, present, and future generations who will forever know this place as home.
             
3. Public Comment
At this time, any member of the public may address the Commission on any subject within their jurisdiction that is not scheduled before the Commission on that day. Due to Open Meeting Laws, the Commission cannot discuss or act on items presented during this portion of the agenda. To address the Commission on an item that is on the agenda, please wait for the Chair to call for Public Comment at the time the item is heard. (Five minutes maximum per speaker)

Ms. Wegwert and Ms. Toner of Commission on Diversity Awareness (CODA) provided comment regarding support of Indigenous Commission (IC). They also stated CODA use to obtain proclamation for Native American Heritage Month and would IC like to take that over? CODA has also heard issues related to Indigenous community, including celebrations, and would like IC to be part of as it's more appropriate. There is also the Renaming the Peaks, an area that CODA has interest in. Information was also received from Dr. Silver in regard to Snowbowl issues. CODA would like to serve as a support role should IC desire to takes the lead on these topics. CODA would like to be informed if assistance and support is needed from IC.

Ms. Shirley Conrad made an introductory statement that she is Yellow Knife Dinay First Nations member from Yellow Knife, Northern Canada. She works at NAU and is her first time attending the Commission meeting.
             
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES
             
A. Approval of Minutes for May 4, 2022
Motion to approve Minutes as is or approve with amendments. Minutes are scheduled to be sent on 8/2/22.

Commissioner Weathersby made a motion to approve May 4, 2022 Minutes as is. Commissioner Toya seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
             
B. Approval of Minutes for June 1, 2022.
Motion to approve Minutes as is or approve with amendments. Minutes are scheduled to be sent on 8/2/22.

The June 1, 2022 Minutes were not available. Co-chair Washington tabled the Minutes to the next meeting.
             
5. DISCUSSION ITEMS AND POSSIBLE DECISION
             
A. Jana L Weldon, Beautification, Arts and Sciences Manager, City of Flagstaff, would like to seek the Indigenous Commission's engagement. This is for creation of art projects at Mountain Line’s new Downtown Connection Center. It will have an element of a sculpture that the artists and staff would like to discuss with the Indigenous Commission.

Ms. Weldon made introductions and stated she would like to concentrate her presentation on the Downtown Connection Center art concepts and specifically the sculpture. There are several projects going on there, and today she is specifically seeking knowledge for inclusion on the tree rings and this will become apparent during her presentation. Ms. Weldon provided a PPT presentation on the civic space being developed for the Southside and may take some time due to a planned new building at the Connection Center for the Mountain Line system. This entire project is a Mountain Line project, hence the connection to the Southside with the Ponderosa pine and logging history, lighting and solar alignment both modern and ancient, and the Southside community itself. This project will span several years by phases.

Ms. Weldon informed the Commission on several ideas and phases that were recommended. These are five projects that will be focused on with the current funding. These were briefly shared. The one to focus on is called the Southside Grove. It is an immersive sculpture that reflects the natural and cultural histories, including the Ponderosa Pines, astronomy, and an emphasis on Southside community heroes. It is an early design concept and will be modified as needed. The grove will be located to mark the sun at solstices and equinoxes, and the four directions. There will be a timetable, the focus today. The timetable study area noted with tree rings. There is heavy emphasis on Southside events and history; however, this Commission is welcomed to provide input and brainstorm ideas for the tree rings. People from different cultures see time very differently and is open to capturing Indigenous tree rings events.

Comments from Commissioners were of appreciation and liked the references to trees, celestial bodies, and history. Some comments were made regarding the tree rings, including history on the Long Walk, opening of the mines, and the relocation process of the Navajo and Hopi, and other Indigenous celebrations. It would also be better to make these designs more visible for the Southside neighborhood. Suggestions were also made as to where to find some of these history materials, like the Broken Rainbow documentary. Commissioners can always reach Ms. Weldon through the City and has offered her contact in chat.
             
6. GENERAL BUSINESS AND POSSIBLE DECISION
             
A. National Navajo Code Talker Day, Indigenous Peoples Day and Native American Heritage Month
Informal Work Group and Ms. Toehe will provide information and requests on the following:
  • National Navajo Code Talker Day on Sunday, August 14, 2022
  • Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, October 10, 2022
Updates were made by Rose Toehe on National Navajo Code Talker Day. Work has been done in collaboration with Commissioners Yellowhair and Marks and partners. Currently, the work group has several partners, the Smallcanyon family (family of a Code Talker), veterans, Winslow Guidance Associates, NACA Health Promotions and donations from Twin Arrows. A flyer has been sent to the Commissioners to assist in promoting the event and participating on the day of. Snacks, lunch, and drinks will be available. Since this is a first in-person event, it is anticipated that 50-70 people will attend. A quick review of the agenda was provided.

Indigenous Peoples Day will be on Monday, October 10th. A request was made by Ms. Toehe for Commissioners to assist with the planning. Should it be virtual or in-person. It has been virtual for the past two years. Contacts need to be made with speakers. Please contact Ms. Toehe asap if interested in helping. Usually many of the City and County employees will attend.
             
B. Possible Change in Start Time of Indigenous Commission Meetings
The Indigenous Commission had two members who were not able to join the meeting until 12:00 PM. At the June 1st meeting, the Commission voted to have the July meeting to start at 12:00. Since July's meeting did not have quorum, this change carried to the August meeting. Should the time remain at 11:00am or continue with 12:00pm?

After a short discussion, it was suggest that we can make the first Wednesday of month, at 12:00pm, to be the new permanent meeting time. The meeting time will change from two hours to one hour. Commissioner Weathersby made a motion to have Commission meetings moving forward from September 7th from 12:00 - 1:00pm. Commissioner Whitehat seconded the motion. The motion passes unanimously.
             
7. INFORMATIONAL ITEMS TO/FROM COMMISSION MEMBERS, STAFF, AND FUTURE AGENDA ITEM REQUESTS

Rose Toehe made some announcements: Donations are welcomed for the National Navajo Code Talkers Day; Hopeful to get a City attorney to address Drug Court; The next agenda item will most likely be the Thorpe Park Annex Parcel topic.
             
8. ADJOURNMENT

Co-chair Washington adjourned the meeting at 1:13 PM.

    

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