Building on recommendations from the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee and City programs such as the Dialogues Project, Vancouver City Council voted today to proclaim June 21st 2013 to June 20th 2014 as the Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver and expressed its support for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The motion from Councillor Andrea Reimer recognized that “Reconciling past injustice, and strengthening shared understanding and awareness of history, is vital to both aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities in building a successful future for Vancouver.”
Council also directed staff to work with Reconciliation Canada and the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee to increase opportunities for dialogue and increased understanding between aboriginals and non-aboriginals regarding the experience and rights of indigenous people in Canada, especially in advance of the federally-initiated Truth and Reconciliation event for BC taking place in Vancouver in September.
“It’s important that all Vancouver residents build our understanding of the histories, contributions, and persistent challenges faced by aboriginal people in Canada, and that City Hall continues to strengthen relationships and dialogue with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tseil-Waututh Nations,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The Year of Reconciliation in Vancouver will provide an opportunity for people of all cultures to engage in dialogue and work together for a shared future that fully supports the rights and aspirations of aboriginal people living in and around Vancouver.”
The motion also called on staff to report back on the Reconciliation Canada recommendation to name Vancouver a City of Reconciliation.
For the text of the full motion, please click here: