Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton and Chair of FCM's Big City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC) issued the following statement on meeting with the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde:
"This is an important period for our cities and our country. Half of Canada's Indigenous population now live in cities, and the legacy of residential schools and other historical traumas is manifested in our communities in poverty, racism, and inequality.
Canada's Big City Mayors are well positioned to work toward engaging a conversation between all four orders of government to address these national concerns.
Together, municipalities, the federal and provincial governments, and First Nations can achieve our shared goal of a renewed relationship with Indigenous Canadians.
As Mayors of Canada's biggest cities we are now working to honour the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's (TRC) call to action and to work towards real social, political, and economic change to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
Our full potential as cities will be realized only by forging new paths with Indigenous peoples and their leaders.
Our meeting today with National Chief Bellegarde is an important step in that journey. We look forward to working with the federal government, National Chief Bellegarde and the Assembly of First Nations, and Indigenous leaders from coast to coast to coast."