Toronto’s first Reconciliation Action Plan aims to restore truth, justice for Indigenous Peoples

Toronto has unveiled its first ever Reconciliation Action Plan which lists 28 targets to restore truth, justice and prosperity to Indigenous people in the city.

Mayor John Tory released the plan Wednesday morning which aims to guide the city’s actions to advance reconciliation through to 2032.

The 28 goals are spread through five themes, including actions to restore truth, actions to right relations and share power, actions for justice, actions to make financial reparations and actions for the Indigenous Affairs Office.

The city says a key priority will be to address barriers and colonial practices embedded in its policies, processes and practices.

“Our immediate focus will be on establishing processes and relationships and priorities as we begin to implement the plan because the message was conveyed loud and clear to me that this just cannot be another government report,” Tory said at a press conference Wednesday.

“And I want to really reiterate that the Reconciliation Action Plan is a living document that will grow and it must grow and it must evolve as needed to ensure that it is in fact credible and effective as seen through the eyes of Indigenous communities and as a work plan for the government that comes from our Indigenous communities,” he added.

This year alone, the city plans to focus on establishing processes, relationships and priorities, and continuing work that has already begun for Indigenous communities, including the creation of 5,200 affordable rental homes and the creation of the Indigenous crisis-response pilot.

In addition, in 2022 the city is aiming to conduct city-wide reconciliation audits, apologize to the Métis, improve relationships with treaty and territorial partners, increase access to affordable housing and improve Indigenous economic development.

“Beyond the Toronto Public Service we are asking council in this report to request city agencies and boards, including the Toronto Police Services Board, Toronto Library, to commit to their own reconciliation efforts, of course guided by the values ​​and principles set out in the reconciliation plan,” City Manager Chris Murray said at the press conference.

The thorough plan was developed over three years with input from First Nations, Inuit and Métis community members, organizations, elders, knowledge carriers, youth, and Indigenous employees and city allies.

“We are committed to uncovering hard truths and having those difficult but absolutely necessary conversations to create the kind of change that is going to be critical in the Toronto Public Service and critical to this community,” Murray said.

The city has not provided an overall budget for the plan and Tory says this is a strategy to allow for more planning and flexibility.

“…What you don’t want to do in the context of trying to get ahead of yourself and in particular get ahead of the people who we want to take more ownership of this is to specify every dollar and every allocation of dollars in advance of the present year because we’re going to work together to produce those numbers and to make sure those resources are there,” Tory said.

The plan will be considered by the Executive Committee on March 30 and then by City Council on April 6, subject to the actions of the Executive Committee.

.

Leave a Reply