Ottawa - Following Tuesday's release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Canada's municipal leaders concurred with the need to build a new equal partnership with Aboriginal people in Canada; one based on truth, dignity, and mutual respect.
"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. The final report of the TRC will guide all orders of government towards a better future built on a foundation of honesty about our shared history," said Raymond Louie, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).
Positive relations between municipal and Aboriginal governments and organizations are rooted in building trusting relationships. Many local governments and First Nation communities are forging partnerships to generate shared economic development opportunities through joint regional strategies, shared service delivery and increased Aboriginal representation on relevant boards and agencies.
FCM is committed to supporting municipalities in their efforts to forge these renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. FCM's First Nation–Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI), delivered in partnership with Cando, and the Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (CIPP), are two initiatives focused on 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. CEDI is funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).
The mayors of Canada's biggest cities reaffirmed their commitment to work together with Aboriginal leaders to deliver real change.
"Canada's big city mayors are committed to forging a new path based on empathy, respect, and an honest understanding of history. We want to ensure that the rights and aspirations of Aboriginal people are fully acknowledged in policy, and in the great cities we seek to build. Working with other orders of government, we're ready to move forward as a country," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chair of FCM's Big City Mayors Caucus.
Municipal leaders recognize the significance of the undertaking of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the release of the TRC's final report and its recommendations. The process has been a difficult and exhausting process for survivors and Commissioners alike. Local governments will honour these efforts through the implementation of new policies and practices that recognize the shared potential of municipal and First Nations communities.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.