Indigenous Relations Framework
The CVRD has named Indigenous Relations as one of four strategic drivers, through which CVRD services are being delivered. To support Indigenous Relations as a driver, the CVRD adopted a framework in September 2019 to deliver core services with an Indigenous Relations lens and promote greater cultural awareness.
Some primary objectives of this framework include enhancing the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and history, including the modern day legacy of colonial history; building capacity of all elected officials and staff to be engaged in collaborative work with Indigenous communities and people; and responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The Comox Valley Regional District is committed to building its relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples and advancing reconciliation. At its first meeting of 2021, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board of Directors adopted a statement of reconciliation that will continue to guide the CVRD’s work with Indigenous peoples.
The statement formally recognizes the CVRD’s commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, as outlined in The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and several other key documents including The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and Sec. 35 of the Canadian Constitution Act.
To assist in the development of meaningful mid and long term strategies and actions that support the CVRD's Framework and advance Reconciliation, the CVRD undertook an Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Assessment in late 2021. This work summarized the CVRD's current policy and practices related to advancing reconciliation and identified a set of strategies and actions that could potentially be undertaken in the mid to long term. The review was based on desktop research to review actions and practices across Canada and abroad, as well as drawing on the experience of the report's authors, Dillon Consulting Limited, in working with Indigenous communities and various levels of governments.
What Happens Next?
Implementing the Indigenous Relations framework and the recommendations contained in the Reconciliation Assessment Report will be an ongoing effort that will evolve and respond to current events and future goals. Adequate resources must be considered for effective implementation, and will be addressed as programs are considered. Each year, staff will report on specific activities undertaken and planned to support the Framework. This includes enhancing cultural awareness for the CVRD as well as continued efforts to meet with K’ómoks First Nation on a regular basis to advance various projects. Funding to accomplish these goals will come from a combination of sources including grants and the general government administration service. Additional resources may be required in subsequent years as the work plan evolves and mid to long-term strategies are implemented.