On the 23rd of March, Mayor John Tory announced the details of the City of Toronto’s first Reconciliation Action Plan, which will be considered by the City’s Executive Committee on Wednesday, March 30. The recommended action plan will guide the City’s actions from 2022 to 2032 to advance truth, justice and reconciliation.
The announcement was made alongside Elder/Grandmother Dorothy Peters, City Manager Chris Murray, Councillor Mike Layton (University-Rosedale), Selina Young, Director, Indigenous Affairs Office, and Bryan Winters, co-chair of the Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee.
The Reconciliation Action Plan builds on the City’s existing commitments to Indigenous Peoples through 28 meaningful actions across five themes: actions to restore truth, actions to right relations and share power, actions for justice, actions to make financial reparations and actions for the Indigenous Affairs Office.
The 28 actions outlined in the Plan will contribute to the visibility and overall wellbeing of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Toronto through placemaking and placekeeping, supporting economic development and prosperity, increasing civic engagement, honouring Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and recognizing rights to self-determination and self-governance. A key priority for the City will be addressing barriers and colonial practices embedded in its policies, processes and practices to better serve Indigenous residents in Toronto.
The Reconciliation Action Plan was developed over three years with input from First Nations, Inuit and Métis community members, organizations, Elders, Knowledge Carriers, youth, and Indigenous employees and allies in the Toronto Public Service. The Plan will be a living document, which will evolve, as needed, to incorporate directives from any future public inquiries or calls for government action from local Indigenous communities and organizations. The City will also continue to collaborate with Indigenous leaders and community members to fulfill the actions within the Plan, ensure transparency and accountability, and improve relationships with Indigenous Peoples.
The Reconciliation Action Plan was acknowledged and endorsed by the Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee in its meeting on Tuesday, March 8 as a City mechanism to begin the process of reconciliation with the Indigenous community.
Several key reports and calls to action informed the Reconciliation Action Plan, including: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Final Report in 2015, the 2019 National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the City’s 2010 Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal Communities.
The City Manager’s report and a draft of the Reconciliation Action Plan can be found on the City’s website
Following Executive Committee on Wednesday, March 30, the report will be considered at the Wednesday, April 6/Thursday, April 7 meeting of City Council.
“As the largest municipality in Canada and home to a large and diverse population of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, it’s essential that the City of Toronto be a leader in advancing truth, justice and reconciliation and being part of the long-awaited and necessary changes that must be made. I am proud to support the City’s first Reconciliation Action Plan when it goes before the Executive Committee next week and look forward to the dialogue between our partners and the City to push these commitments forward. While we have made much progress, the Reconciliation Action Plan will create tangible action we must take to create an inclusive and equitable city that advances the needs of the Indigenous community here in Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory
“The Reconciliation Action Plan is an important next step towards building a more inclusive and representative Toronto Public Service that can better serve the needs of Indigenous residents. We are committed to building better relationships with Indigenous partners and communities so that we can continue to collaborate on meaningful actions that will ensure truth, justice and reconciliation are embedded across all City of Toronto policies, services and divisions.”
– City Manager Chris Murray
“The path towards reconciliation is long and winding. The Reconciliation Action Plan is just the next step along this path, but one that will make a significant difference in the lives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities in Toronto. As we move into this next phase of the City’s reconciliation efforts, we’ll continue to ensure that Indigenous voices are heard and respected, so that the Reconciliation Action Plan is responsive to the needs of the community and the City stays accountable.”
– Selina Young, Director, Indigenous Affairs Office
“I am pleased to see the Reconciliation Action Plan move into this next stage. It’s essential that the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ remains central to the reconciliation process and I look forward to the City continuing to actively engage and listen to the needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples as it embarks on this new phase of its reconciliation journey.”
– Bryan Winters, Co-Chair, Aboriginal Affairs Advisory Committee