Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples begins with ending racism and is about truth, justice, building trusting relationships and creating real change.
We all need to reverse the systemic inequalities and discrimination facing Indigenous peoples. These inequalities are the lasting effects of Canadian assimilation policies, marginalizing systems and residential schools.
BC Housing commits to eliminating racist and discriminatory policies, processes and approaches. We commit to undertaking our own reconciliation journey and supporting our employees on theirs. We recognize that it is an ongoing process with much to be learned along the way.
BC Housing's history with Indigenous peoples
BC Housing has been working with Indigenous peoples for more than fifty years. Our work spans the province and takes place on the unceded traditional territories and ancestral home of hundreds of First Nations peoples.
We recognize that Indigenous peoples' history and connection to these lands are jeopardized as a result of colonization. We must break down the systemic and institutionalized racism within our province.
As a landlord, employer and funder of affordable housing programs, BC Housing touches the lives of many Indigenous peoples.
Our 2020/2023 Service Plan includes the goal to build “Strong Indigenous partnerships and relationships based on principles of reconciliation”. BC Housing works with Indigenous housing partners to increase self-reliance in the sector.
We are working to address the over-representation of Indigenous peoples within the homeless population. Access to safe and supportive housing is key to addressing violence against Indigenous women. This occurs at a higher rate than for non-Indigenous women.
We are partnering with First Nations communities to address housing issues on and off Nation. Reconciliation is a key goal in our Service Plan.
Development of a Reconciliation Strategy
Work already underway
Much work has been done and is underway toward our Service Plan goal. More still needs to be done and our approach needs to evolve.Our Annual Reports describe past work from past Service Plans
The development of a Reconciliation Strategy will create a framework for how we operate and make decisions. The work to create a strategy is being done in collaboration with our Indigenous partners.
The strategy is part of BC Housing’s commitment to adopt and put in place policies and practices based on the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) final report.
The next step in our commitment is to create a Reconciliation Strategy.
First step toward our Reconciliation Strategy
BC Housing is working with Two Worlds Consulting (TWC) to improve our commitment to reconciliation.
BC Housing employees who are Indigenous
BC Housing board members
From these interviews and a review of our programs, policies, practices, TWC created a Reconciliation: Moving Forward Together report. This report is an important stage in our commitment to Reconciliation.
It will create an understanding of BC Housing’s relationships with Indigenous nations, organizations and individuals. It allows us to reflect on our successes and failures. It supports us to move forward in a genuine way that honours the calls to action of TRC and UNDRIP.
Reconciliation: Moving Forward Together report will be completed in early 2021.
Based on the themes in the report, BC Housing will take steps to move forward in our commitment to Reconciliation.
Exploring both the themes and action items in the report will allow us to create a comprehensive Reconciliation Strategy.
Next step toward Reconciliation Strategy
BC Housing will use the findings in the Reconciliation: Moving Forward Together report to create a Reconciliation Strategy.