12 January 2016

Park Board approves 11 recommendations in response to Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Vancouver Park Board
News Release
January 12, 2016
The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation has endorsed 11 ambitious strategies to advance the historic work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its programs and facilities. 
The strategies address critical themes identified by the Commission including language and culture, commemoration, professional development and training for public servants, education for reconciliation, youth programs and sports.
Specific measures adopted by the Board Monday night include a “360 degree” approach to programming in culture, health and sport in order to increase public awareness and support for First Nations children, youth and elders in Park Board programs. In addition, the Board will establish a program for native and non-native artists to collaborate on works inspired by reconciliation themes and carefully consider aboriginal rights in granting permits for special events and sport hosting. 
The Board also reaffirmed its commitment to its precedent-setting intergovernmental consultation with First Nations on stewardship of Stanley Park and other park lands.
“I’m very proud the Vancouver Park Board is the first municipal government body in Canada to implement recommendations in response to calls to action provided by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC),” said Chair Sarah Kirby-Yung. 
“The Board showed leadership early in its mandate, including a historic meeting with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and is already engaged in substantial work related to the actions identified by the TRC.”
The Board’s actions were applauded by organizations working with the aboriginal community.
“I’m pretty stoked to see Vancouver Park Board working to implement Truth and Reconciliation recommendations,” said Scott Clark, Executive Director of Aboriginal Life in Vancouver Enhancement.
“All vulnerable children, families and Elders should have full access to the many programs that the 24 community centres deliver. This is how we create inclusive, reflective and engaging centres.”
After the TRC released its findings last spring, the Board asked staff for an action plan. The staff report recommended that the Board make changes related to many of the TRC’s 94 calls to action, leading to the 11 strategies adopted last night.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada aims to redress the legacy of residential schools and work toward reconciliation between Canada and its Aboriginal peoples. 
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Media contacts:
Vancouver Park Board

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