Vancouver Park Board adopts 11 First Nations strategies

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      The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation announced on January 12 that it has approved 11 strategies for its programs and facilities in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report published last year.

      The strategies include themes identified by the commission such as language and culture, professional development and training for public servants, education for reconciliation, youth programs, sports, and commemoration.

      The board promises to increase public awareness and support for aboriginal participants in their programs, particularly for children, youth, and elders.

      More specifically, the park board will create a program for aboriginal and nonaboriginal artists to collaborate on works related to reconciliation themes.

      The board also promises to consider aboriginal rights when granting permits for special events and sport hosting to ensure First Nations territorial protocols are respected. Archaeological and aboriginal protocols will also be respected for any invasive investigations, inspections, or soil disturbances of cemeteries or midden lands.

      Park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung stated in a news release that the board has become the first Canadian municipal government body to adopt recommendations in response to the TRC's 94 calls to action.

      On June 29, the Urban Aboriginal Committee asked the park board to review the TRC calls to action. On July 20, the park board asked staff to report back with recommendations based on the TRC report.

      Meanwhile, on June 23, Vancouver city council asked staff to provide recommendations based on the TRC report. Staff will be reporting back to council on January 18.

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