Reconciliation in Victoria
In 2017, the City of Victoria began a journey of Truth and Reconciliation. This journey has involved the Lekwungen peoples, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, on whose homeland the city stands. City Council created the Witness Reconciliation program and appointed a City Family. This City Family includes members of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, other urban Indigenous people, the Mayor and select City Council members.
Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action for Municipal Government
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released 94 “Calls to Action.” The TRC believe five of these Calls to Action are within the authority of a municipal government. They are:
- #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.
- #47: We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and lands, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius, and to reform those laws, government policies, and litigation strategies that continue to rely on such concepts.
- #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.
- #75: We call upon the federal government to work with provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, churches, Aboriginal communities, former residential school students, and current landowners to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried. This is to include the provision of appropriate memorial ceremonies and commemorative markers to honour the deceased children.
- #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.
City of Victoria's 32 Calls to Action
During the Victoria Reconciliation Dialogues series, 32 Calls to Action were developed. Members of the City Family and special guests presented calls to action for the City and community to carry on the work of reconciliation moving forward.