Vancouver council greenlights UN Indigenous rights plan

Squamish Nation councillor Khelsilem, left, addresses city councillors after presenting them with a copy of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) task force report, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. The final report is a result of a partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. According to the task force it is the first co-developed strategy between Indigenous nations and a municipal government in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. DD

Vancouver council has passed an Indigenous rights strategy that it says will make the city a national and world leader in implementing a plan towards reconciliation.

The strategy is based on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and makes 79 calls to action.

Read more: Task force holds traditional ceremony for final Indigenous rights report given to City of Vancouver

The framework for reconciliation focuses on themes of cultural and economic well-being, ending Indigenous-specific racism and the right to self-government for the three nations on whose land the city is built.

The Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam nations were part of the task force formed in March 2021 to develop a strategy to implement the declaration.

Read more: B.C. unveils actions to fulfill UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples commitments

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Coun. Christine Boyle says implementing the declaration is important work for the city, where Indigenous people are overrepresented among the homeless population and experience more negative health outcomes.

A statement from the city says the next step is for its staff to determine what is needed to implement each of the calls to action and report back to council with an action plan.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver set to adopt UNDRIP principles'
Vancouver set to adopt UNDRIP principles

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2022.

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