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RELEASE: Reconciliation means action, not judicial review: OneCity Vancouver

Application to review City of Vancouver service agreement does nothing to move forward either reconciliation or desperately needed housing

VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - OneCity Vancouver today re-affirmed its support of the Sen̓áḵw development, and its opposition to legal and other processes intended to obstruct it.

“Sen̓áḵw is reconciliation in action,” says Matthew Norris, Member of the Lac La Ronge First Nation and City Council candidate with OneCity Vancouver. “A community forced from their home has now returned in triumph. The Sen̓áḵw neighbourhood will bring meaningful and significant benefit to the Squamish Nation and to the City of Vancouver. Just a few days ago we recognized the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Our collective commitment to reconciliation and addressing the colonial history of this country and this city needs to be more than just words, we need to take concrete actions to support the Indigenous Nations on whose land we live. As a city committed to reconciliation it is our duty to recognize the rights of the Indigenous Nations on whose lands we live and take action to support these nations as they implement their rights. We need to support them bringing their vision to life, not delay or deny it with endless legal processes. This support is essential if we are to co-govern these lands and co-exist in partnership with Indigenous Nations while pushing forward towards shared prosperity for everyone.”

In 1913, the Government of British Columbia forced the illegal surrender of the Squamish village of Sen̓áḵw, with residents shipped to other Squamish reserves. After decades of legal work, in 2003, the Squamish Nation finally received a portion of its original reserve. This land parcel is what will be redeveloped into the neighbourhood of Sen̓áḵw. As with other reserve land, it is outside the jurisdiction of the City of Vancouver.

“The City of Vancouver negotiates service agreements with First Nations on a regular basis,” continues Councillor Christine Boyle, OneCity Vancouver. “Allowing these agreements to proceed is critical to maintaining a healthy working relationship with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations on whose territories we all live, and to living up to our commitments to reconciliation and Indigenous justice.” 

OneCity Vancouver is the only Vancouver political party to have a section of its platform totally dedicated to Indigenous justice. Key elements include:

  • Co-developing revenue sharing agreements with the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations; 
  • Recognizing and supporting the rights of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh to self-determination, self-government and free, prior and informed consent;
  • Prioritizing Indigenous Nations for partnership in all procurement projects; and
  • Ensuring that city planning complements Indigenous-led housing developments, including not just Sen̓áḵw but the Heather and Jericho Lands projects.

Election Day is October 15.


OneCity Vancouver communications committee

[email protected]

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