UBCM began in 2013 to promote the work and the reconciliation message of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) in 2013. UBCM did so by working with Reconciliation Canada, an Indigenous-led organization promoting reconciliation by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes relationships between indigenous peoples and all Canadians.
This work spurred UBCM on to further engagement with projects and advocacy that aim to move reconciliation forward. These initiatives provide opportunities for local governments, in their own communities, to begin or strengthen reconciliation with Indigenous people.
Submission on the National Inquiry into Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls
On March 11, 2016, UBCM First Nations Relations Committee Chair, Councillor Murry Krause, wrote to the UBCM membership regarding resolution 2015-B111, “National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women”. The letter provided an update on action taken in response to this resolution, and encouraged member engagement in response to the severe and widespread violence faced by Indigenous women and girls in BC communities.
On February 3, 2016, UBCM President Al Richmond, and First Nations Relations Committee Chair, Councillor Murry Krause, met with Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and provide local government perspectives to inform the Province’s submission to the federal government on pre-inquiry design.
UBCM representatives provided written feedback to assist the Province in including local government perspectives in communications with the federal government.
UBCM Call to Action & Proclamation
UBCM held a reconciliation dialogue panel at its 2013 annual convention, and issued a Call to Action to BC’s local governments to participate in Reconciliation Week. This week coincided with the TRC’s Vancouver event, and included a lighting of the Flame of Reconciliation, an All Nations Canoe Gathering and a 70,000 person Walk for Reconciliation.
The groundswell of support for reconciliation at the 2013 UBCM Convention inspired the assembly to proclaim 2013 a Year of Reconciliation with First Nations across British Columbia. To this end, UBCM members endorsed the following resolution:
Whereas the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, with the support of Reconciliation Canada, have announced that its National Event for BC take place in the City of Vancouver from September 16 to 22, 2013;
And whereas the Union of British Columbia Municipalities has actively engaged with First Nations communities and peoples through the work being done by its own First Nations Relations Committee;
And whereas the City of Vancouver, the host community for this year's Union of British Columbia Municipalities Annual Convention, and many other communities have declared this year to be their Year of Reconciliation with First Nations peoples and communities;
And whereas making such a commitment is the first step in fostering a new relationship based in respect and honesty:
Therefore be it resolved that the Union of British Columbia Municipalities also declare this year, 2013, as its year of Reconciliation with First Nations across British Columbia.
UBCM First Nations Relations Committee Chair, Councillor Murry Krause, then submitted the resolution to the TRC Bentwood Box at the TRC Event, as an Expression of Reconciliation.
Questions, comments or feedback about any of the above listed reconciliation opportunities for local governments may be directed to:
Josh van Loon
Senior Policy Analyst
604.270.8226 ext. 113