Truth and Reconciliation Commission plan approved by city committee
Plan includes 14 recommendations, including displaying Algonquin Anishinaabe flags at city hall
- Council unanimously approved this plan on Feb. 28, 2018.
The City of Ottawa's response to the calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was approved by the community and protective services committee on Thursday.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission published 94 "calls to action" urging all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial and aboriginal — to work together to change policies and programs in a concerted effort to repair the harm caused by residential schools and move forward with reconciliation.
In 2016, Ottawa City Council directed staff to work with local Indigenous partners to review these calls to action.
The city's plan outlines 14 initiatives including:
- Completing and launching an Algonquin Anishinaabe civic cultural protocol. (TRC Principles 3, 6, 8, and 9).
- Establishing a permanent presence of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Host Nation Flags in Council Chambers and in Marion Dewar Plaza at Ottawa City Hall to honour and recognize the host nation of this place.
- Participating in the development and implementation of a "Reconciling History" Walking Tour spearheaded by First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, with Indigenous community members and other public and private sector partners.
- Developing a tailored process to respectfully acquire and display art from Indigenous artists into the City of Ottawa Art Collection.
- Encouraging the use and visibility of Indigenous languages.
- Identifying and setting priorities for allocating cultural funding to support initiatives from the public, which contribute to the reconciliation process.
- Creating Indigenous cultural awareness training modules for municipal staff.
- Engaging Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis representatives as part of the development of the City of Ottawa's Commemoration Policy. The policy will also explore a naming process for rooms in municipal buildings to honour Algonquin Anishinaabe host nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and languages.
- Implementing specific strategies to increase the number of Indigenous people employed at the City of Ottawa.
- Integrating system planning led by local Indigenous service providers who provide child care and child and family programs. This includes planning to address needs, gaps and opportunities for new or enhanced culturally responsive and Indigenous-led programs and services for Indigenous children and families in Ottawa funded through the provincial Journey Together initiative and other child care and family programs.
- City departments participating on the city's Aboriginal Working Committee.
- Promoting a standard process to honour Algonquin unceded territory at the opening of city events.
- Providing cultural awareness and learning opportunities each year to help city departments build capacity to deliver culturally appropriate services.
- Supporting the Annual Aboriginal Awareness Day learning and awareness-raising day to commemorate National Aboriginal Day in partnership with the Aboriginal community partners.
Over 500 people participated in the consultations, including members of the city's Aboriginal Working Committtee, the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, and Algonquin Anishinaabe Council.
Staff will report back to city council before the end of 2019 with an update on the plan.
The plan will go to city council next week.