On January 12 the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation approved 11 strategies for its programs and facilities in response to some of the calls to action issued in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report published last year.
The strategies address themes identified by the Commission, including language and culture, commemoration, professional development and training for public servants, education for reconciliation, youth programs, and sports.
The board will take a “360 degree” approach to programming in culture, health, and sport to increase public awareness and support for aboriginal children, youth and elders in Park Board programs.
They've committed to establishing and funding a program for aboriginal and non-aboriginal artists to produce collaborative community-engaged projects and produce works inspired by reconciliation themes.
The board has also promised to review event permitting and sports hosting opportunities to ensure that aboriginal rights are respected and, if appropriate to the scale of the event, that local aboriginal communities are engaged.
The strategies also include a review of the processes and policies around the donation of monuments, memorials, and public art to ensure that aboriginal history, heritage values, and memory practices are integrated.
The board will continue its commitment to its intergovernmental approach to the future stewardship of Stanley Park and other park lands.
To read all 11 strategies adopted by the Park Board, click here.
“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 board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung in a press release.
“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.”
Scott Clark, executive director of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement (ALIVE), applauded the board's actions. “I’m pretty stoked to see Vancouver Park Board working to implement Truth and Reconciliation recommendations,” Clark said.
“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.”
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.