Rekindling the Fire: Challenges Facing Urban Indigenous Self-Government and Self-Determination
(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver BC) – November 20, 2023) The Northwest Indigenous Council Society (NWIC) is pleased to announce that an Urban Indigenous Self-Government Symposium will be held on November 23 and 24, 2023 at 312 Main Street in Vancouver. The Symposium will take place on the unceded and traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
The Symposium will provide a forum for a range of urban Indigenous peoples to come together and discuss the history of the urban Indigenous self-government movement and rekindle the dialogue on the way forward. Since 1994, there have been many conferences and workshops on various models of urban Indigenous self-government. The challenges of practical implementation will include negotiations on powers, governing structures, stable and long-term financing, and the provision of services.
The rapid urbanization of Indigenous peoples is characterized by high levels of urban residential mobility. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has generated a burst of hope among urban and off reserve Indigenous peoples that the urgent and complex issues we face will finally be addressed. In 1996, the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples stated that urban Aboriginal peoples were not privy to the same level of services as on reserve and that a policy vacuum existed. Twenty-six years later, the acute policy and program needs of the off reserve remain in a multifaceted system that requires patience and resources to navigate.
The Northwest Indigenous Council Society (NWIC) was incorporated in 2015 and became an affiliate of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples in 2016. As a Provincial Territorial Organization, we represent and advocate for First Nations living off reserve and Métis. NWIC is working for seven generations into the future to enhance, promote, protect and foster the social, economic, educational, cultural, health and well-being and rights of Indigenous peoples living off reserve in BC.
For more information contact: