In the seven years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its final report, Indigenous communities have been calling on all levels of government to implement the Calls to Action. We are all responsible for contributing to truth-telling, reconciliation, and decolonization.
Municipalities in particular—as the level of government closest to our day-to-day lives—have a unique role to play in implementing the Calls to Action.
With guidance from Indigenous leaders and organizations, Women Transforming Cities applied our experience and relationships with local governments in BC to understand:
What progress municipalities have made towards implementing 10 Calls to Action that are explicitly directed toward local governments
What barriers are slowing and stalling action
What local government leaders need in order to accelerate action
We heard from representatives in almost half of all municipalities in BC, ranging from villages of less than 400 people to cities of more than 650,000 and spanning every region of the province.
Tracking progress and identifying common challenges in implementing the Calls to Action provides an opportunity to find solutions to advance this crucial work more quickly. The goal of this research and report is to see these barriers addressed and empower more municipalities to make meaningful progress towards truth-telling and reconciliation.
Illustrations by Métis artist Sam Brunelle.
“My challenge to you is to read the 94 Calls To Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and pick one that you can work on, that you understand, and that you support––and make it happen. This is not a spectator sport. We need you, to be able to bring reconciliation to a reality in this country."
— Senator Mizanaya Gheezhik (Murray Sinclair), Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision
In this report you will find...
A foreword from Ginger Gosnell-Myers and background on our methodology
Our findings, including a summary of the state of progress on the Calls to Action, four key barriers and municipal leaders' successes and challenges in their own words
Recommendations to the Province and local government organizations to accelerate implementation
Analysis of 10 Calls to Action for local governments, including a snapshot of progress, common challenges, how it relates to municipalities, and on the ground examples of implementation
Lessons learned for municipalities as they continue to advance the TRC Calls to Action
Actions you can take to support this work
Send this report to your mayor and council, and ask them what progress has been made in your community on implementation of the Calls to Action. Hold them accountable by asking for regular updates.
Share this report on social media to amplify the message that municipalities have an important role to play in accelerating the Calls to Action.
Amplify and support Indigenous organizations in your local community. Ask if specific Calls to Action are a priority for them.
Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors’ Society.
Final Report: Action on Systemic Barriers to Women's Participation in Local Government (2020)The final report offers an overview of this three-year project, concentrating on four areas in which women participate in local civic life: as candidates and elected decision-makers; as participants in citizen-led municipal advisory bodies; as municipal employees; and as participants in city-led public engagement efforts. See the report
Voter Engagement, Electoral Systems, and Diverse Women’s Political Representation: A Brief Review (2019)"Using the 2018 Vancouver, BC elections as a case study, this brief review looks at representation on city council and who votes in municipal elections. See the review
Pathways to a Women-friendly Surrey: Outcome Report (2018)This outcome report presents the expertise of women participating in a forum held in Surrey, BC. The forum set out to find out why and how women become involved in the city, what helps and supports a woman candidate and what barriers or challenges she faces. See the outcome report
Hot Pink Pathways to a Women-Friendly Vancouver: Outcome Report (2018)This outcome report presents the expertise of women participating in a forum held in Vancouver, BC. The forum set out to find out why and how women become involved in the city, what helps and supports a woman candidate and what barriers or challenges she faces. See the outcome report
Barriers Facing Women in Politics Briefing Note (2018)Submitted to the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women. See the briefing note
Systemic Barriers to Women's Participation in Local Government Project's Literature Review (2017)Literature review of major research pieces and providing an overview of identified barriers to women's involvement in local government. See the literature review
More on the TRC Calls to Action in BC Municipalities
Advancing the TRC Calls to Action
TRC Resources for Local Governments
WTC presented a clinic on how local governments can advance the Calls to Action alongside two municipal leaders at the UBCM convention. Read the event summary.
Municipalities identified a lack of education as a barrier slowing implementing the Calls to Action. We’ve compiled a list of training opportunities to address this challenge and get started on Call to Action #57.
This Project was funded in part by Heritage BC through the Heritage Legacy Fund.
About Women Transforming Cities
Women Transforming Cities (WTC) is a grassroots organization based in Vancouver, BC. WTC works to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression with equity-deserving genders and movements to transform where we live into places where everyone can belong, participate, and have social, economic and political equity. We seek to empower, center, and amplify the voices of those made most marginalized by the systems we are fighting to dismantle.
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