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Surrey Urban Aboriginal Initiative

young boy with his mom

 

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.

Urban Aboriginal Initiative Strategy

Guided by the Aboriginal Leadership Committee and the All Our Relations report, the City is developing a Surrey Urban Aboriginal Strategy. The project is a first step toward reconciliation with the Aboriginal community.

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.

Aboriginal Leadership Committee

Members of the Aboriginal Leadership Committee

Members of the Surrey Aboriginal Leadership Committee provide Strategy guidance.

Get Involved

  • Discover the Surrey Arts and Culture Map. The map has the locations and descriptions of Indigenous artworks commissioned by the City of Surrey through its Public Program.

Current Projects

July 2016 to March 2017: Phase II

  • Formally establish the Surrey Aboriginal Leadership Council. As the Leadership Council, Aboriginal people will be the voice of the community as it relates to the urban Aboriginal population in Surrey.  Activities aim to increase the Aboriginal capacity to influence policies, programs and services that most impact the Aboriginal community.
  • Develop concrete solutions and strategies to address the findings contained in the All Our Relations report. A ‘Solutions Workshop’ will convene a broader cross-section of non-Aboriginal organizations and funders.
  • City of Surrey activities to implement or support the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action.

Completed Projects

Orange Shirt Day

The City of Surrey honoured Orange Shirt Day with a number of events. A special ceremony was held at City Hall, attended by members of the Aboriginal Leadership Committee, City staff and RCMP members wearing orange. An educational display was up in the atrium for a week. Mayor Linda Hepner also proclaimed Sept. 30th as Orange Shirt Day in the City of Surrey.

July 2015 to April 22, 2016: Phase I

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 Aboriginal Strategy.

  • Leaders Celebration:
    • 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 Aboriginal Strategy.
  • Formation of the Aboriginal Leadership Committee
  • Research Activities
    • Research was conducted to develop a deeper understanding of the urban Aboriginal experience in Surrey including:
      • Review of existing studies and reports
      • Key informant interviews with 40 participants representing 23 different organizations that interact with the Aboriginal Community in Surrey.
      • Focus groups with 32 Aboriginal residents of Surrey
      • Compilation of data and analyses from the 2011 Census and National Household Survey
  • Release of All Our Relations Report
    • Findings were formulated from the research and tested against the lived experience of the Aboriginal Leadership Committee. Each finding led to a discussion of the implications for the urban Aboriginal community and service organizations.14 key findings and 37 conclusions were identified in the All Our Relations report.

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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