OTTAWA, ON - The following statement was released today by the President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Brad Woodside on the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which will deliver its final report tomorrow.
"On behalf of municipal leaders from across the country, I would like to thank the members of the TRC and the thousands who came forward to tell the truth about the impact of the Indian Residential School legacy. Today, municipalities are exploring ways they can participate in the process of reconciliation to develop new relationships for a brighter future."
FCM is committed to supporting municipalities in their efforts to forge renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. On June 6, we are holding a workshop on building mutual prosperity through improved municipal and First Nations relationships as part of our Annual Conference. Our event takes place in Edmonton, a city which has declared 2015 a Year of Reconciliation.
Positive relations between municipal and Aboriginal governments and organizations are rooted in acknowledging past wrongs and building trusting relationships. Municipalities can be models of partnership between local governments and First-Nation communities, as many have developed comprehensive agreements, shared service delivery, increased Aboriginal representation on relevant boards and agencies, trained municipal staff, generated joint economic development opportunities and many other initiatives.
Funded by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), FCM's First Nation - municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), delivered in partnership with Cando, and Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (CIPP) are two initiatives building stronger and more fruitful relationships between municipal and First Nation neighbours. These partnerships are yielding tremendous social, cultural and economic benefits for all communities involved.
FCM's Big City Mayors' Caucus (BCMC) has also issued a statement and "a commitment to learn from the lessons of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and to take action to ensure the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people are fully acknowledged in policy, and in the great cities we seek to build".