Today, the City of Toronto, in partnership with OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, officially launched Indigenous Peoples in Toronto: An Introduction for Newcomers, a resource that introduces newcomers to First Nations, Inuit and Métis history, cultures and perspectives. Toronto is one of the first municipalities in Ontario to create this type of resource for newcomers.
This project is an example of multi-sectoral and intercultural collaboration, led and informed by Indigenous and newcomer expertise. It aligns with and responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #93 – Newcomers to Canada, as well as the City’s Reconciliation Action Plan and its Actions to Restore Truth.
The guide is intended to:
• Encourage learning and sharing to build meaningful relationships between Indigenous Peoples and newcomers.
• Provide settlement service providers, ESL instructors and staff who work with and for newcomers with tools to support this learning, through an accompanying facilitator’s guide.
The launch at David Pecaut Square featured remarks from Indigenous Elders, City staff and leaders within the newcomer and refugee service sector, including Toronto and York Region Métis Council and Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre. Attendees were treated to a marketplace featuring Indigenous and newcomer food, craft vendors and cultural performances from Lena Recollet, Borelson and Indigenous youth singers Wynona Maracle and Ariyha Syvret.
The City is grateful to the 10-member Indigenous Newcomer Advisory Circle and all the Indigenous and newcomer community organizations that generously contributed time and expertise to the development of this invaluable resource. This project was made possible by funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
Indigenous Peoples in Toronto: An Introduction for Newcomers embodies the City’s commitment to fostering understanding and building bridges between different communities. It reflects Toronto’s identity as a multicultural city that acknowledges, respects and celebrates the rich tapestry of cultures that make up its population. The guide is available on the City’s After You Arrive webpage. The guide aligns with the strategic pillar, Supporting Civic Engagement and Community Capacity of Newcomers in the Toronto Newcomer Strategy.
Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.