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Park Board approves 11 recommendations in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission

January 12 2016

The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has endorsed 11 ambitious strategies to advance the historic work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its programs and facilities.

The strategies address critical themes identified by the Commission, including:

  • Language and culture
  • Commemoration
  • Professional development and training for public servants
  • Education for reconciliation
  • Youth programs
  • Sports

Strategies

Specific measures adopted by the Board Monday night include a “360 degree” approach to programming in culture, health, and sport to increase public awareness and support for First Nations children, youth and elders in Park Board programs. In addition, the Board will establish a program for native and non-native artists to collaborate on works inspired by reconciliation themes and carefully consider aboriginal rights in granting permits for special events and sport hosting.

The Board also re-affirmed its commitment to its precedent-setting intergovernmental consultation with First Nations on stewardship of Stanley Park and other park lands.

Read the 11 Park Board strategies

First municipal government body to implement recommendations

“I’m very proud the Vancouver Park Board is the first municipal government body in Canada to implement recommendations in response to calls to action provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),” said Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung.

“The Board showed leadership early in its mandate, including a historic meeting with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and is already engaged in substantial work related to the actions identified by TRC.”

Aboriginal community applauds actions

The Board’s actions were applauded by organizations working with the aboriginal community.

“I’m pretty stoked to see Vancouver Park Board working to implement Truth and Reconciliation recommendations,” said Scott Clark, Executive Director of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement.

“All vulnerable children, families, and Elders should have full access to the many programs that the 24 community centres deliver. This is how we create inclusive, reflective, and engaging centres.”

After TRC released its findings last spring, the Board asked staff for an action plan. The staff report recommended that the Board could make changes related to many of the TRC’s 94 calls to action—leading to the 11 strategies adopted last night.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada aims to redress the legacy of residential schools and work toward reconciliation between Canada and its Aboriginal peoples.