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July 13, 2010
City Council approves landmark Statement of Commitment to Toronto's Aboriginal communities
Toronto City Council has adopted a "Statement of Commitment towards Aboriginal Communities in Toronto" that was prepared in consultation with City Council's Aboriginal Affairs Committee. Council has directed the City Manager to prepare an action plan to give effect to the commitment.

“This year has marked a turning point for Aboriginal people in Toronto," said Mayor David Miller. "We have witnessed the settlement of the Toronto Purchase land claim between the Government of Canada and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Toronto's new Statement of Commitment towards the Aboriginal communities in Toronto provides the basis for achieving strong Aboriginal Municipal Relations in our city."

"This Statement of Commitment by Toronto City Council is forward-looking and significant for Aboriginal people who live and work in Toronto," commented Andre Morriseau, Co-Chair of the City's Aboriginal Affairs Committee. "Acknowledging Toronto’s original inhabitants for the proud, productive people that they have always been is a positive step in our journey of mutual friendship and understanding."

City Council also authorized the City Manager to develop an "Urban Aboriginal Framework" to inform all aspects of policy development and service delivery by the Toronto Public Service, including human resource strategies and discussions with other orders of government on urban Aboriginal issues. The preparation of an Urban Aboriginal Framework recognizes that more than half of Canada's Aboriginal population lives in urban areas.

A 1999 Report by the City's Task Force on Community Access and Equity estimated that the Aboriginal population in Toronto was between 65,000 and 100,000 - significantly more than recorded by the census. City Council has previously endorsed the principle of Aboriginal self-determination through the Task Force on Community Access and Equity (1999) and the Plan of Action for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination (2003).

A recent study by the Environics Institute, conducted in 11 cities across Canada, found that while maintaining ties to their ancestral communities, for the majority of the urban Aboriginal peoples, "The city is home."

Background documentation:
City of Toronto report on the Statement of Commitment (2010):

Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Access and Equity (1999):

Plan of Action for the Elimination of Racism and Discrimination (2003):

Environics Institute's Urban Aboriginal People Study: and

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contacts:
Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement, City Manager’s Office, 416-392-6824,
Mae Maracle, Diversity Management and Community Engagement Consultant, City Manager's Office, 416-392-5583,



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