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Indigenous Initiatives

The City of Saskatoon's work in the area of Indigenous Initiatives is rooted in the recommendations put forth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC was a commission active in Canada from 2008 to 2015, with a mandate to document the history and lasting impacts of the Canadian Indian Residential School System on Indigenous families. Residential school survivors and family members of attendees shared their experiences during public and private meetings held across the country. The intent was to bring to light the true and lasting effects of residential schools as many Canadians did not have a full understanding of the multi-generational impacts.

In 2015, the TRC released a multi-volume final report that concluded that the removal of children from the influence of their own culture with the intent of assimilating them into the dominant Canadian culture amounted to cultural genocide. As well, the TRC released 94 Calls to Action to inspire a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

What is the City of Saskatoon's role?

Indian Residential Schools are a part of our shared history; a history that is not well understood by many. Canada's relationship with Indigenous people has suffered as a result of the Indian Residential School System and the City of Saskatoon recognizes it has an important leadership role to play in our community's reconciliation journey. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness, and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt for everyone involved.

​Nine of the TRC's 94 Calls to Action apply directly or indirectly to municipal governments.

Calls to Action Directed at Governments, Including Municipal
  • LANGUAGE & CULTURE (Call to Action #17): Enable residential school Survivors and their families to reclaim names changed by the residential school system by waiving administrative costs for a period of five years (2016-2021) for the name-change process and the revision of official identity documents.
  • HEALTH (Call to Action #23): Increase the number of Indigenous professionals working in the health-care field; ensure the retention of Indigenous health-care providers in Indigenous communities; provide cultural competency training for all healthcare professionals.
  • RECONCILIATION (Call to Action #43): Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the framework for reconciliation.
  • ROYAL PROCLAMATION AND COVENANT OF RECONCILIATION (Call to Action #47): Repudiate (reject or dismiss) concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous peoples and lands, such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius (Latin expression meaning "nobody's land"; sometimes used in international law to justify claims that territory may be acquired by a state's occupation of it) and reform those laws, government policies, and litigation strategies that continue to rely on such concepts.
  • PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS (Call to Action #57): Provide education to public servants on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Indigenous rights, Indigenous law, and Indigenous–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.
  • MISSING CHILDREN AND BURIAL INFORMATION (Call to Action #75): Support federal government initiatives to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried. This is to include the provision of appropriate memorial ceremonies and commemorative markers to honour the deceased children.
  • NATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION (Call to Action #77): Work collaboratively with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to identify and collect copies of all records relevant to the history and legacy of the residential school system, and provide these to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
  • SPORTS AND RECONCILIATION (Call to Action #87): In collaboration with Indigenous peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, provide public education that tells the national story of Indigenous athletes in history.
  • SPORTS AND RECONCILIATION (Call to Action #88): Take action to ensure long-term Indigenous athlete development and growth, and continued support for the North American Indigenous Games, including funding to host the games and for provincial and territorial team preparation and travel.

What is the City doing?

Following the release of the TRC's final reports, Saskatoon City Council unanimously declared a “Year of Reconciliation” from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. City Council also decided to adopt and implement the relevant Calls to Action (those within the City's jurisdiction), and to work with community groups to promote reconciliation.

On these pages you'll find information about how our City is responding to the TRC Calls to Action and working to promote reconciliation in our community.

Treaty 6 & Métis Homeland

Saskatoon is located on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis - learn more!

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Annual Events

The City plays a role in the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation on Indigenous Peoples Day, Indigenous History Month events, Orange Shirt Day, and the Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference.

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Indigenous Women & Girls

The City of Saskatoon is looking to harness the strength of Indigenous Women & Girls and Two-Spirit people in Saskatoon and address the factors that result in the disproportionate abuse and violence they face. 

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Reconciliation Saskatoon

Information about reconciliation initiatives that the City is leading or participating in.

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Residential School Legacy

On this page you will find more information about how the City of Saskatoon is addressing the multi-generational harm caused by residential schools.

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Indigenous Technical Advisory Group

Members of First Nations and Métis communities participate in the design of City initiatives.

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Community Resources

Helpful resources to assist community organizations and business in their communications about and for Indigenous persons and in engaging Indigenous communities.

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Chief Mistawasis Bridge

Responding to the TRC Call to Action #79, the City undertook an unprecedented community-driven naming process for the originally named North Commuter Parkway / now named Chief Mistawasis Bridge.

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Other Initiatives & Updates

Information about other Indigenous projects at the City of Saskatoon.

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