Join in the essential work of learning and change on National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

September 29 2023 –

Vancouver is located on the traditional, unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, who have lived throughout this region for thousands of years. Their ancient continuity on these lands is reflected in their oral histories, arts and culture practices, and deep relationships with the lands and waters—and in the archaeological record. 
Truth and Reconciliation Day, September 30, invites all settlers and guests on these lands to learn and reflect on the harmful legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools and the ongoing impacts of colonialism and cultural genocide on Indigenous Peoples and communities. It is vital that all settlers and guests on these lands join in the essential work of decolonization and Reconciliation.

During this year’s Truth and Reconciliation Day, the City acknowledges that while progress has been made, including signing of the new protocol agreement with Sḵwx̱wú7mesh , discussions of similar agreements with səl̓ilwətaɁɬ and xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm, furthering the MMIWG2S report  (1.6 MB) implementation plan, and developing the City’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) 5-year action plan for the implementation of the 79 recommendations, significant work is still needed to bring about meaningful change.

“There can be no progress without Truth and Reconciliation. Vancouver remains unwavering in our commitment to confront the failures of the past and present by walking hand-in-hand on the path to Reconciliation with Musqeuam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations along with all Indigenous peoples,” says Mayor Ken Sim. “We recognize the importance of UNDRIP and the City of Vancouver’s pledge to implement its values and strategy. That includes the implementation of the Calls to Action laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada while supporting the ongoing healing and learning in our city. I am proud of the work we have done so far, but we have much more to do. Reconciliation is both a vision and a process.”

Mayor Ken Sim also issued a proclamation on behalf of the City of Vancouver (512 KB), affirming the City’s dedication to working towards genuine reconciliation.

Resources that settlers and guests may find helpful as they reflect on the harms of colonialism and advance their own Reconciliation journey can be found on the City’s website. Additional resources include the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action   (299 KB), as well as the National MMIWG Calls for Justice report   (643 KB). The Vancouver Public Library has also curated a comprehensive list of resources  that includes websites, books, DVDs, digital library resources and a book list for kids up to age 12 .   

In honour of all Indigenous children who lost their lives in residential schools and their families, the Canadian flag at City Hall and the flags at all City and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation buildings are flying at half-mast tomorrow, Sept 30 Every Child Matters Flags and Survivor Flags are flying on at the following locations from Sept 17 to Oct 3:

  • City Hall, 453 W 12th Ave
  • Nicola St at W Pender and Georgia St
  • Denman St and Davie St
  • Fraser St and Kingsway
  • Main St and Terminal St

The City of Vancouver reaffirms its commitment to the critical work of Reconciliation not just on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, but every day. All settlers and guests are encouraged to practice reflection, solidarity, and action to confront the painful legacy of colonization and work towards a more inclusive, just and compassionate city.