In 2010, the City adopted the Statement of Commitment to the Aboriginal Communities of Toronto. In 2015, City Council in consultation with the Aboriginal Affairs Committee, identified eight Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Report as priorities for implementation. Some Calls to Action are mirrored in the Statement of Commitment.
You can submit your hopes for reconciliation to the Ontario Government through their online form.
Call #23 – We call upon all levels of government to:
Call #43 – We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
In total, the Statement of Commitment supports the UNDRIP on many important issues facing Aboriginal communities in Toronto and entrusts the AAAC to oversee the implementation.
The Aboriginal Employment Strategy Implementation Team is currently working on targeted outreach to ensure that opportunities for employment are accessible to Aboriginal people and that this increases the number of Aboriginal employees’ at all occupational levels. (Statement of Commitment #5).
Call #57 – We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
Call #68 – We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, and the Canadian Museums Association to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017 by establishing a dedicated national funding program for commemoration projects on the theme of reconciliation.
This initiative is not specifically related to municipalities, however, Economic Development and Culture (EDC) is planning events to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada and are considering how best to incorporate an Aboriginal project related to the theme of reconciliation.
EDC has presented to the AAAC on their planning process for Canada 150 events and will be seeking input from the committee.
Call #77 – We call upon provincial, territorial, municipal, and community archives to work collaboratively with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to identify and collect copies of all records relevant to the history and legacy of the residential school system, and to provide these to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
The AAAC has considered this Action and has asked City of Toronto Archives to review their collection for any records relevant to the history and legacy of the residential school system. If there are any documents, City Archives has been requested to notify the AAAC and provide the documents to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Call #82 – We call upon provincial and territorial governments, in collaboration with Survivors and their organizations, and other parties to the Settlement Agreement, to commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools Monument in each capital city to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.
Call #88 – We call upon all levels of government to take action to ensure long-term Aboriginal athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.
The City of Toronto is the host City for the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) for 2017. The Games are a multi-sport event and promote indigenous cultural activities, and local indigenous history.
EDC and other relevant City Divisions are working with NAIG organizers to facilitate the games.
Call #94 – Call upon the Government of Canada to replace the Oath of Citizenship with the following:
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including Treaties with Indigenous Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.
This action is not within municipal jurisdiction. However, Toronto welcomes the largest number of newcomers to Canada each year. The Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee will explore how the City of Toronto can support this change.
The City’s Statement of Commitment identifies seven distinct goals to be fulfilled as part of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy/Framework.
The City commits to creating training opportunities for the Toronto Public Service to learn about the history and its current day impacts from Aboriginal Elders and other Aboriginal partners.
The City also commits to working with Aboriginal communities to improve public awareness of Aboriginal life in Toronto.
The City commits, when working with the Aboriginal communities in Toronto, to learning about the elements of an Aboriginal holistic approach from its Aboriginal partners.
The City further commits to supporting this approach in the belief that this will provide the greatest benefit to the community being served.
The City commits to working with Aboriginal partners to explore ways to strengthen the capacity of Aboriginal organizations and associations to plan, lead and deliver initiatives for local Aboriginal communities.
The City also commits to engaging Aboriginal communities in the City’s decision making process, to removing barriers to civic participation and to increasing the representation and role of Aboriginal people on municipal boards and committees.
The City of Toronto commits to implementing employment practices that ensure that opportunities for employment are accessible to Aboriginal people and increases the number of Aboriginal employees at all occupational levels.
The City of Toronto commits to working formally and informally with all orders of government and other municipalities, institutions and community organizations to continue exploring promising practices and opportunities for collaboration on Aboriginal initiatives and to promote the interests of Aboriginal people in Toronto, as defined by the Aboriginal communities.
The City of Toronto commits to the development of an action plan in partnership with Aboriginal communities in Toronto. The City of Toronto also commits to ensuring an accountability process is established in order to measure the success of the Statement of Commitment.