Here's How Montreal Plans To Improve Its Relations With Indigenous Communities

The five-year plan will move towards reconciliation.
Here's How Montreal Plans To Improve Its Relations With Indigenous Communities

On Wednesday, the City of Montreal unveiled its "Strategy of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples 2020-2025."

Joined by Indigenous leaders, Mayor Valérie Plante was enthusiastic about the new policy and said that "Canadian cities must play a leading role in reconciliation with Indigenous peoples since half of the Indigenous people live in urban areas in Canada [...] Montreal intends to lead the way and show itself to be an ally of Indigenous people." 

The far-reaching plan will develop over the next five years and includes several strategies to honour both the history and the rights of Indigenous Montrealers. 

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With the reconciliation strategy, we are aiming to ensure that the Indigenous heritage is more visible in Montreal.

Mayor Valérie Plante

The policy is structured around seven factors: 

  • Develop a "government-to-government" relationship with Indigenous community leaders around the province and search for "solutions targeting the urban issues that concern them." 
  • Improve the visibility of the Indigenous community around Montreal. 
  • Support "Indigenous cultural development in urban areas."
  • "Promote the protection of natural spaces and environments according to the principle of 7 generations." 
  • Improve the sense of safety for Indigenous people in the city. 
  • Support the economic development of Indigenous people in Montreal. 
  • Support Montreal's "urban Indigenous community." 

Mayor Plante underlined that "we also want to ensure that all the public services offered to them are culturally safe in order to shield them as much as possible from racism and systemic discrimination."

Montreal also plans to increase the representation of the Indigenous community in the city's administration such as the political ranks. 

"The very essence of the principle of reconciliation is rooted in the traditional values ​​that forge our cultural identity as Indigenous peoples," said Chief Ghislain Picard of the AFNQL.

"We are proud that this heritage can be reflected today in the actions put forward by the leadership of the City of Montreal."