B.C., UBCM reaffirm reconciliation efforts with updated MOU
The Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) have renewed their commitment to work together to advance lasting and meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia.
An updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) between UBCM and the Province highlights reconciliation as a shared, cross-government responsibility.
The MOU strengthens the partnership between the Province, UBCM and local governments to share information and create discussions and partnerships with Indigenous peoples in B.C. that will benefit people at the community level.
“This agreement strengthens the partnership between B.C., local governments and Indigenous peoples,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation. “Local governments are key partners in our collective work to advance reconciliation, and there are many opportunities and benefits resulting from our engagement with them. Through negotiations and their collaboration with Indigenous communities at the local level, we can better achieve our shared priorities.”
Since the MOU was last updated in 2018, the provincial government passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, establishing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the Province’s framework for reconciliation. The MOU renewal confirms UBCM’s support for advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples throughout the Province at the local level and underscores local governments’ role as valued partners in advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
“This renewed agreement strengthens the partnership between the Province and local governments and our mutual commitment toward reconciliation with Indigenous Nations,” said Josie Osbourne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “It encourages the strong communication and information sharing needed to open doors to meaningful conversations and partnerships that will benefit communities throughout British Columbia. I look forward to working with local governments, colleagues across government and Indigenous partners as we move forward together to build stronger communities under this MOU.”
The MOU also recognizes B.C.’s new policy to modernize treaty negotiations with First Nations, as well as negotiations of other reconciliation agreements. The MOU highlights the importance of local government participation during the negotiation process because community engagement promotes stronger partnerships and leads to better opportunities for everyone.
“We are pleased to renew this agreement with the Province, which recognizes local governments as an order of government and acknowledges the importance of co-operative approaches to matters of mutual interest,” said Trish Mandewo, chair, UBCM Indigenous Relations Committee. “This MOU will further support opportunities for meaningful engagement with local governments as the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is implemented.”
The 2021 MOU was signed at the conclusion of the Pathways to Truth and Reconciliation plenary session at the annual UBCM convention on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021.
- UBCM represents all B.C. member municipalities and regional districts, including nine First Nations members: four Nisga’a villages – Gingolx, Gitlaxt’aamiks, Gitwinksihlkw and Laxgalts’ap, as well as Huu-ay-aht First Nations, Splatsin First Nation, Tla’amin Nation, Tsawwassen First Nation and the Uchucklesaht Tribe.
- The 2021 agreement was signed by Rankin, Mandewo and Brian Frenkel, president of UBCM.
- The 2021 agreement updates and replaces the 2018 MOU between B.C. and UBCM relating to local government participation in negotiations, agreements and other projects with Indigenous communities throughout B.C.
Union of British Columbia Municipalities: https://www.ubcm.ca/
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