COPE Indigenous Policy

COPE will initiate and participate in popular education and awareness-building by leveraging existing civic cultural infrastructure of libraries and community centres to enact reconciliation and redress strategies which are neighbourhood-specific. These place-based workplans will be allocated resources to develop and implement popular education and engagement plans for residents and local organisations and networks. By engaging service groups, Indigenous, labour, faith, environmental, women’s, housing, and other civil society organisations in each neighbourhood the work of reconciliation can actually progress with a bottom-up engagement strategy unique to each of the City’s 26 neighbourhoods, and which expands to include city-wide reconciliation and redress.

COPE will advocate for meaningful implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) by the City of Vancouver, and inventory opportunities and obstacles for it’s implementation.

COPE will ensure a place-based approach with respect to City decision-making on major capital plan investments so as to deliver a framework for reconciliation and redress with local First Nations. All major civic projects on the capital plan, or greater than $10M, will require a Coast Salish impact and redress assessment be conducted. This would apply to the proposed new Vancouver Art Gallery (with its history of showing 99.8% non-Coast Salish art) requiring, for example, cultural redress with a permanent Coast Salish art gallery integrated into the $200M+ project, prior to receiving City support.

To address the shortcomings of meaningful First Nations representation, voice, translation, and vote on Vancouver City Council, COPE will use a place-based framework to negotiate a renewed structure to the relationship with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh. Vancouver City representatives to Metro Vancouver will use their influence and advocate for a place-based governance models throughout the Coast Salish region. COPE will consult with the local First Nations, and urban Indigenous organisations to further develop an electable Urban Indigenous Council to advise City Council and which is provided funding, election term limits, and a strengthened mandate, and term limits.

COPE will create an inventory of Coast Salish placenames and work to re-introduce them into the public realm, as well as identify colonial place names which are redundant to earlier names, and/or names which carry a disrespectful legacy towards the original occupants of the lands and waters here. This work to be done in consultation with Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh Nations, and Urban Aboriginal and Indigenous organizations.

COPE will advocate for policies that advance Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh economic, language and cultural development and promote the redressing of major civic institutions and agencies in the public realm. COPE will promote to higher levels of colonial governments for practical devolution of Crown agencies and jurisdictions including Stanley Park, Granville Island and Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to the three local First Nations.