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City of Surrey takes action on Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations

June 1, 2016

Surrey, BC – On the one year anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, the City of Surrey is committing to taking action on the TRC recommendations. The City has released the All Our Relations report which illuminates facets of the Surrey urban Aboriginal population. The report focuses on improving the lives of urban Aboriginal people in the City. With Surrey having the largest urban Aboriginal population in Metro Vancouver, the City of Surrey is taking a proactive approach to the call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“Surrey City Council is committed to working with Aboriginal people to ensure their needs and aspirations are fully realized in our City,” said Mayor Linda Hepner. “The release of the All Our Relations report demonstrates Surrey’s pledge to take action as called upon by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

The All Our Relations report contains 14 findings and 37 implications for the urban Aboriginal community and service organizations. Here are some key findings of the report.

  • It is estimated that the current urban Aboriginal population in Surrey is greater than the urban Aboriginal population in Vancouver.
  • The Aboriginal population is increasing faster than the rate of the general population.
  • Aboriginal people in Surrey are not transient – they are often long-term residents in the community.
  • They are almost equal parts home-owners and renters.
  • They are engaged in the labour force at similar rates to non-Aboriginal people.
  • It is a very young population made up of many young families.

“This project is the first step towards our shared reconciliation with our Aboriginal community,” said Councillor Vera LeFranc, Chair of the Aboriginal Leadership Committee. “I urge all to take a look at the illuminating report which covers everything from the size of the Aboriginal community in Surrey to facts about housing, employment, education, connection to culture and the general experience of being an Aboriginal person in Surrey.”

The release of the report completes the first phase of the Surrey Urban Aboriginal Social Innovation Strategy and lays the groundwork for the future. Funding for Phase I was provided by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy funds from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Phase II of the project will identify specific solutions to address the priorities and conclusions documented in the All Our Relations report.

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For program inquiries:

Aileen Murphy
Senior Social Planner
City of Surrey
604 591-4315

For media inquiries:

Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604.591.4519