Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board took an important step forward this week in reaffirming its commitment to building trust and greater collaboration with First Nations governments by approving a set of recommendations from the Final Report of the Special Task Force on First Nations Relations (Task Force).
“The creation of the Task Force was an important initiative that gave special focus to the CRD Board’s commitment to Reconciliation and relationship-building with neighbouring First Nations,” said CRD Board Chair Steve Price. “The progress made over the past four years, and the insights the Task Force has shared with the Board, will set the next Board up to continue the work in a positive direction.”
Established in 2015 by the CRD Board, the Task Force is a select committee with a mandate ending upon completion of this Board’s term in October 2018. The Task Force was chaired by CRD Director Marianne Alto (Victoria), who was joined by CRD Directors Maja Tait (Sooke) and Ryan Windsor (Central Saanich). Board Chairs over the past four year term of the CRD Board also participated in the Task Force.
“I am tremendously proud of the work undertaken by the Task Force,” said Task Force Chair Marianne Alto. “And I am so very grateful to First Nations leaders for their willingness to take a leap of faith and help guide this important discussion about regional governance.”
The Final Report provides a summary of activities and some lessons learned over the course of the Task Force’s four year term and presents eight recommendations for the Board’s consideration. The recommendations capture the Task Force’s view of optimal next steps to guide the CRD’s path towards a more inclusive governance model for the region, and a new relationship with First Nations.
The recommendations made by the Task Force consider engagement formats that bring upper levels of government to the table and introduces the idea of “Reconciliation through Economic Development” as a mutually beneficial framework for building partnerships with First Nations governments.
Key recommendations of the Task Force adopted by the CRD Board today include:
- That the Board adopt the proposed Statement of Reconciliation.
- That the Board recommend to the incoming Chair the establishment of a First Nations Relations Committee as a standing committee of the Board.
- That the Board support the establishment of and participation in an inter-governmental working group with the Province and First Nations to foster stronger relationships between First Nations and local government.
The Task Force also has several recommendations for the incoming CRD Board (2018-2022) to consider:
- That the Board commit to hosting an annual Forum of All Councils with political representation from all levels of government including 11 neighbouring First Nations, 13 municipalities, 3 electoral areas, the Government of Canada and the Province of BC.
- That the Board pursue a proposed First Nations Remuneration Policy, and direct staff to provide recommendations.
- That the Board direct staff to provide recommendations on eliminating barriers and systemic discrimination to ensure a corporate environment that promotes equity and diversity in the workplace.
- That the Board direct staff to draft a program of future concrete actions to support the CRD’s commitment to reconciliation.
- That the Board direct staff to undertake a feasibility study for an Indigenous Economic Development Partnership Model.
The Final Report and the proposed Statement of Reconciliation are available on the CRD website.
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
The capital region spans the Traditional Territory of approximately 22 First Nations, of which 11 have Reserve lands and 9 have settlement populations made up of 4142 members. The CRD, through its First Nations Relations Division, provides support to this Task Force.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications