The City of Toronto’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) guides the City’s actions to advance truth, justice and reconciliation for the next 10 years. The RAP was unanimously passed by Council on April 6, 2022 (EX31.1).

The RAP builds on the City’s existing commitments to Indigenous Peoples through 28 meaningful actions across five themes:

  • Actions to restore truth
  • Actions to right relations and share power
  • Actions for justice
  • Actions to make financial reparations
  • Actions for the Indigenous Affairs Office

Some actions are addressed by all City divisions, and others are led by specific City divisions.

In order for the actions and interpretations of this plan to remain culturally safe, it must be adapted and reinterpreted in changing contexts. The RAP will be a living document and expanded upon as needed. Where required, updates to the RAP will be reported to City Council for adoption.

Background & Context

The Reconciliation Action Plan was developed to guide the City of Toronto’s actions from 2022 to 2032 and beyond to achieve truth, reconciliation, and justice to the extent that it remains consistent with the self-identified needs of Indigenous communities in Toronto.

The commitments found in this Reconciliation Action Plan build on and are guided by:

Reconciliation recognizes, respects and promotes the unique rights of Indigenous people, which are born out of being the original occupants and stewards of the land. Distinct Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized under the Constitution Act, 1982, and Indigenous people seek to have those rights protected, including the right to self-determination.

Unlike equity, which functions within an existing system to address gaps, reconciliation looks to restore the nation-to-nation relationships, and advance Indigenous rights to self-determination. Distinct Aboriginal and Treaty rights are recognized under the Constitution Act, 1982 and self-determination is codified by Article 3 of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which states, “Indigenous peoples have the right of self-determination. By right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Current Status

Through the Reconciliation Action Plan, the City of Toronto has committed to dedicating time, space, and money to create and maintain meaningful relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. These relationships will be rooted in early engagement, co-development, equal partnership, and power shifting. Essential elements of this relationship-building include returning land to Indigenous governments, communities, grassroots groups and organizations; making financial reparations; and, decolonizing City structures, processes, and ways of working.

Key actions for 2022 and 2023 include:

  • Begin construction of the Indian Residential School Society Spirit Garden in Nathan Philips Square
  • Begin construction on the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Supporting Indigenous organizations and communities through Capacity Building Grants for Indigenous-led Collectives and Grassroots Groups
  • Launched an Indigenous-led crisis response service in the Downtown West
  • Create a Reconciliation Audit toolkit that will guide all City divisions to identify changes to existing City policies, programs and processes to eliminate systemic barriers
  • Increase access to affordable housing for Indigenous Peoples
  • Focus on Indigenous staff recruitment and retention including two new recruitment programs: Indigenous Youth Research Associate and Essential Skills
  • Indigenous Place-keeping Efforts including Humber Lodge, Sacred Fire sites, the renaming of streets, parks and community centres and increasing Indigenous art in public spaces
  • Indigenous awareness training for City staff
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Toronto and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN), to be signed by the Gimaa/Chief of the MCFN and the Mayor of Toronto to establish a constructive and mutually beneficial Nation to Nation relationship between MCFN and the City of Toronto to come forward early in the Council term

One action completed in 2022 was the Métis apology. On August 19, 2022, the Mayor apologized to the Métis for the role the City played in the militarized action against the Métis during the Northwest Resistance. Moving forward, the City will work with the Métis community to create an education and exhibition plan.

The Indigenous Affairs Office will report to City Council bi-annually on the progress and implementation of the RAP, including input from all divisions, to be collated and presented to City Council as well as necessary committees, such as the Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee.

Key Contact

Selina Young
Director, Indigenous Affairs Office, 416-392-8936