(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) This morning, the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation presented their final report to Vancouver City Council as part of the City of Vancouver’sUnited Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) Task Force.
The City of Vancouver convened the UNDRIP Task Force in 2021 in partnership with the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, upon whose unceded territories the city resides. With support from a technical team, including staff from each Host Nation, the Task Force worked collaboratively to develop recommendations on how the City of Vancouver can implement UNDRIP as a core element of its work on reconciliation and Indigenous relations.
The Task Force’s final report is a historic document as the first co-developed strategy between Indigenous nations and a municipal government in Canada.
BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) Regional Chief Terry Teegee stated, “In 2014, the City of Vancouver committed to being a ‘City of Reconciliation.’ Following through on the expert recommendations outlined in the Task Force’s final report is integral to fulfilling that commitment. It is an honour to support the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in their landmark work with the UNDRIP Task Force. I hold my hands up to everyone involved, and I anticipate further progress toward implementing the UN Declaration now that Vancouver City Council has been presented with a clear path forward.”
“This achievement is admirable and must be duplicated across the province. A strong, respectful government-to-government relationship is crucial to reconciliation and the long-overdue work to redress colonial impacts on First Nations people and communities. By Resolution 2022-64, the UBCIC Chiefs Council calls on municipal governments to strengthen unique First Nation-municipal relations, continuously work in consultation and cooperation with First Nations in BC, and uphold and fully implement the UN Declaration as required by the Declaration Act. It’s time for all BC municipalities to step up to this responsibility, as the City of Vancouver has done,” stated Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Secretary-Treasurer.
First Nations Summit Political Executive Cheryl Casimer stated, “Vancouver is home to the second largest Urban Indigenous population in our country. It is encouraging to witness and support the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations as they lead ground-breaking progress on reconciliation in Vancouver through the UNDRIP Task Force. Every other municipality in British Columbia should look to this partnership as an example of an opportunity to advance reconciliation in their own community. I thank the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, the UNDRIP Task Force, and the City of Vancouver for leading by example.”
The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) strongly supports the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation in their vital work with the City of Vancouver’s UNDRIP Task Force. We applaud the Host Nations for this historic partnership and urge every municipality in BC to replicate this initiative.
The FNLC is comprised of the political executives of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.