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Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy

The City of Surrey acknowledges the traditional territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) exposed the terrible legacy of the Indian Residential School System and the on-going trauma for survivors. With Surrey having the largest urban Aboriginal population in Metro Vancouver, the City is taking a proactive response to the call to action by the TRC.

All Our Relations Social Innovation Strategy

In 2015, the City convened the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee to guide the development of a Social Innovation Strategy. The Strategy was released in 2017:

The Strategy addresses the findings contained in the All Our Relations Phase 1 Report report. The objective of the Strategy is to build and strengthen relationships at all levels of the community and to improve the economic participation, educational attainment and health outcomes for the Aboriginal population in Surrey.

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Current Projects

All Our Relations Strategy Implementation

The final Surrey Urban Indigenous Social Innovation Strategy contains five Strategic Objectives, 42 Goals and 98 strategies for change. Currently, the Leadership Committee is convening Working Groups to focus on the following priority themes:

  • Education and Awareness Building
  • Indigenous Child Poverty
  • Indigenous Spaces in the City
  • Leadership Capacity
  • Protocol Working Group

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

In September 2017, Surrey City Council unanimously endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for the City to use in its on-going process of reconciliation with local First Nations and urban Indigenous peoples in Surrey. Surrey is the fourth city in Canada to endorse UNDRIP. Watch the Council endorsement and read the Corporate Report.

Completed Projects

July 2016 to March 2017: Phase II

  • Development of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Social Innovation Strategy:
    • The Strategy was finalized and presented to Surrey City Council in May 2017.
  • Recognizing Indigenous Leadership in Surrey:
  • City of Surrey activities to support the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action:
    • Mayor Linda Hepner proclaimed Sept. 30th as Orange Shirt Day in the City of Surrey. In 2016 and 2017, the City held a variety of events to honour Orange Shirt Day.
    • Surrey Libraries: reading and discussion on reconciliation with Indigenous author, Bev Sellars, October 2016. A series of literacy events and an art exhibition were held in May 2017 around the Taan's Moon children's book.
    • Cultural Services: a number of Indigenous artworks have been commissioned through the City's Public Art program. The Museum of Surrey will be engaging collaboratively with local land-based First Nations to design and construct an Indigenous Hall.
    • Bridgeview Community Centre and The Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association hosted a National Aboriginal Day 2017  celebration at Bridgeview Park on June 21, 2017.

July 2015 to April 22, 2016: Phase I

  • July 2015: The City convened an Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee to guide the development of the Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy.
  • November 2015 - January 2016: Research was conducted to develop a deeper understanding of the urban Indigenous experience in Surrey. The Profile of the Aboriginal Community in Surrey was released.
  • April 2016: Release of All Our Relations Phase I Report.
  • On April 22, 2016, leaders from Surrey's First Nations and Aboriginal agencies, Mayor and Council, and other community leaders joined together to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the project. The celebration confirmed the community's collective commitment to implementing the Surrey Urban Indigenous Strategy.

Council Reports

Additional Resources

News Releases

City of Surrey honours Orange Shirt Day

Mayor Hepner with special guests honouring Orange Shirt Day

The City of Surrey honoured Orange Shirt Day with a number of events today.

City of Surrey takes action on Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations

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.

Partners & Funders

Funding has been provided by the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres through the Urban Partnership Program of the Government of Canada.


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