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City of Reconciliation

The City of Vancouver was designated a City of Reconciliation when the framework was adopted by Council on July 8, 2014. The designation and commitment followed the Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver from June 2013 to June 2014.

We will form a sustained relationship of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the Urban Aboriginal community

Our framework

The City of Reconciliation framework  (149 KB) has three foundational components that further strengthen our services and ongoing relationships with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, and urban aboriginal community:

  • Cultural competency
  • Strengthening relations
  • Effective decision-making

Our goals

Our long-term goals:

  • Strengthen local First Nations and urban aboriginal relations
  • Promote aboriginal peoples arts, culture, awareness, and understanding
  • Incorporate First Nations and urban aboriginal perspectives for effective City services

Aligning the Truth and Reconciliation call to actions with our work

The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action final report  listed 94 recommendations to “redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation.” Of those, 27 have been identified as actionable areas for the City. 

The calls to action that align with our work can be summarized under the following three themes:

Healthy communities and wellness

Healthy communities and wellness

  • Our Healthy City Strategy includes goals to promote safety, inclusion, and connections between communities and individuals with reconciliation as an integral focus
  • We support early learning and care, including child care and related grants and support programs
  • The Mayor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Addictions has a key focus of supporting centres for aboriginal healing and wellness
  • Our Social Policy Capital Grants are awarded to aboriginal organizations for improved service delivery and on a range of issues, including cultural competency training, healing and wellness, and youth programming
  • Our sports partnerships and grants will be available to support indigenous sporting events in Vancouver


Achieving indigenous human rights and recognition

Achieving indigenous human rights and recognition

  • City of Vancouver – First Nations Council to Council, government relationship
  • Recognition of Vancouver’s situation on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh traditional territory
  • Stated support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • City Council’s advocacy for indigenous inclusion and rights recognition


Advancing awareness, knowledge, and capacity

Advancing awareness, knowledge, and capacity

  • We are providing cultural competency and capacity training for City staff, including mandatory aboriginal cultural competency training for all Vancouver Police Department staff
  • Our Vancouver Public Library branches are offering diverse and accessible collections on residential schools, treaties, and historical and contemporary aboriginal matters 
  • We launched First Peoples: Guide for Newcomers  (5 MB), which covers the history of aboriginal peoples, a local First Nation overview, and contemporary urban issues
  • The Canada 150th anniversary celebration was used as a time for indigenous recognition and celebration with all Vancouverites
  • We provide funding and support for BC Sports Hall of Fame  to provide stories on aboriginal athletes in history
  • We provide support for aboriginal training and employment through our mentorship programs and partnerships with aboriginal employment agencies
  • We recognize September 30 as Orange Shirt Day to honour residential school survivors



Our vision

As a City of Reconciliation, we will:

  • Form a sustained relationship of mutual respect and understanding with local First Nations and the urban aboriginal community, including key agencies
  • Incorporate a First Nations and urban aboriginal perspective into our work and decisions
  • Provide services that benefit members of the First Nations and urban aboriginal community

Our next steps

Our next steps as we move forward in 2016 are:

  • Funding two aboriginal healing and wellness centres
  • Cultural competency training for senior City managers and 350-plus staff
  • Creating a new Manager of Aboriginal Relations position in our City Manager’s Office and a new Aboriginal Social Planner position in the Social Policy Department
  • Integrating the reconciliation theme in planning and developing the Canada 150 celebration program
  • Collaborating with Reconciliation Canada to develop indicators that will measure the progress and evaluate work on reconciliation

What we have done so far

Key steps we have taken:

  • On February 26, 2013, Council endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples
  • Council proclaimed June 21, 2013, to June 20, 2014, as the Year of Reconciliation in the City of Vancouver. To honour and celebrate the event, and to stimulate awareness and discussion of impacts of residential schools, racial injustices, and ideas of reconciliation, our Public Art Program commissioned 10 new artist projects for the Platforms 2013-2015 artwork exhibit
  • On June 25, 2014, Council acknowledged that Vancouver is on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations
Year of Reconciliation