First Nations, Vancouver, Federal Government discussed on Unreserved



Land? Well, city lands are managed by the municipality. And so city lands are subject to provincial laws, federal laws, but they're really managed by a mayor and council. They have regulations and bylaws that ensure that the neighborhoods are planned in a certain way and that garbage pick up happens on a certain day and the lights are working in the streets, those are typically the functions of the municipality. Whereas First Nations reserves are governed by both the First Nations with the federal government, most likely Indian and northern affairs, Canada. But will they follow the same rules, quote unquote, as municipalities do? Urban reserves do not have to follow municipal zoning bylaws, rules, et cetera, it really is a new era for urban planning, especially for these new urban reserves where like sana here in Vancouver, they do not have to follow a lot of the rules that other developments need to consider like heights or how many units are within a property. They get to determine what they want and no one can tell them otherwise. And while that is absolutely the way it should be, how did they then work with municipalities so that we're not bumping up against one another. Well, this is the interesting place where First Nations and municipalities are finding themselves today. Typically First Nations haven't had strong relationships with municipalities. And this is because municipalities have seen First Nations issues as not my jurisdiction. They've seen First Nations as a federal jurisdiction to manage. But with new urban reserves, we're looking at municipalities needing to partner and collaborate with First Nations on issues such as ensuring that sewage and water can be accommodated in the new properties or like the sanak property in Vancouver that surrounding amenities like community centers and schools and fire stations can be built to ensure that they can meet the demand of all of these new residents thousands of new residents. So it's up to the municipality to really come on in and provide a lot of these extra community based services. Right. So it's definitely an ongoing negotiation sort of dance around the table. How do you think that they would be mutually beneficial for cities? What do cities get out of it? Well, cities are all developed on stolen indigenous lands. And cities need to undertake a lot of work to ensure that its residents understand whose indigenous lands they are that they can understand the indigenous place names that cities have renamed over the last number of centuries. And this can be accomplished through a meaningful relationship with local First Nations. There's so much co learning that can take place. And I feel like having indigenous knowledge reflected in how cities are planned and named and designs are huge benefit to all urban residents. And for the work that I'm undertaking with cities today, residents are really curious about indigenous place names about the histories of these lands before colonization and their eager to revitalize this knowledge. We're also seeing cities undertake a lot of work to ensure that the climate emergency that we're in is planned with appropriate mitigation measures and what better place for indigenous knowledge to be reflected in urban planning than to ensure that our land and water stewardship practices are included in how cities manage their waterways and how cities manage their green spaces and there are so many benefits that cities can gain through partnering with local First Nations communities. I love that sort of a shift in how you even look at negotiations, right? Yes, yeah. And this work is less about negotiations and more about sitting at a table to learn about one another. And really engaging and collaborating with one another because this work needs to take place and it is taking place regardless. And so what better way to learn about one another than to be curious and to be respectful and that is less of a negotiation style and more of a relationship. Absolutely. You mentioned that, of course, you're in Vancouver and the squamish nation there is currently developing an urban reserve, or maybe the better word for that is currently reclaiming an urban reserve. How is this idea of building a relationship and including and collaborating helped in that development and in that reclaiming? Well, the squamish nation is really responding to the demand that a lot of major cities in this country are facing. In that, there's a shortage of affordable housing. And affordable rental housing. And so what we have in Vancouver is the local first nation really picking up and caring for residents probably more so than local governments here are caring for their residents by meeting that housing demand. And this is a great example of what it looks like when you're able to create a place where residents are really eager to respect local First Nations protocols, understand the traditions and how they can be brought into the public sphere in a way that we've never seen in this country before. First nation's cultures have largely been hidden from the public eye and what better place to showcase and highlight indigenous culture and tradition than in cities where the majority of indigenous peoples in this country live and the majority of Canadians live. Can you educate Canada in terms of how the squamish were displaced from that from that territory, now that they're returning to it? Here in Vancouver, we have first nation that was displaced a number of times. And so they weren't just displaced once, but they were pushed out again and again in a game. And we have family members from squamish nation here today who still have elders who have shared stories of what it was like to be a little kid and displaced from their own home and to see lawn houses being burned and to not know where they were going to turn. There are.

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