Truth and Reconciliation

The City of Delta recognizes that Delta is located on the shared, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and other Coast Salish Peoples. We consistently nurture a strong relationship with First Nations neighbours through partnerships and joint initiatives. We value and foster these relationships as we are working towards Reconciliation with our Indigenous partners.

The discovery of the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children in the summer of 2021 reminded us about a dark and shameful part of Canada’s history, of our collective history, and the memories and long-term effects of this tragedy are very much alive today. The path to reconciliation starts with truth, and we need to hear more of it, be present and understand the pain caused to many generations of Indigenous peoples. We are committed to making Delta a better place to live, work and play for all residents and it means that, as a City, we are committed to recognizing systemic injustices and the role we have to play in rectifying them.

Land Acknowledgement

For the first time, Mayor George V. Harvie, joined by Chief Ken Baird and Chief Wayne Sparrow, opened the May 10, 2021 Regular Meeting of Delta Council with an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement.

"Before we begin, I would like to acknowledge that this meeting is taking place on the shared, traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and other Coast Salish Peoples. We extend our appreciation to these First Nations for the opportunity to hold this meeting here today.”

To learn how to pronounce scəw̓aθən and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm listen to the audio files:

 

The language for the City of Delta’s acknowledgement was developed through a combination of research and strong collaboration with Tsawwassen First Nation and Musqueam Indian Band. Other ways the City of Delta is strengthening its commitment to Truth and Reconciliation:

  • Staff is reviewing the local government-related calls for action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission summary report (2015) to pursue actions to advance reconciliation.
  • Service Agreements: Delta has provided services (fire, police, emergency management, water, roads, etc.) to TFN through informal arrangements and formal agreements for more than two decades.
  • The City continuously engages First Nations in advocacy and other community-wide processes, including getting their support on the Massey Tunnel replacement project.
  • Musqueam Council and Delta Council event at the Musqueam Cultural Centre Gallery
  • Provincial funding was secured to provide Indigenous training to staff; the City is engaged with TFN to develop and provide cultural awareness training.
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: September 30, 2021.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

On September 30, 2021, Delta City Hall will be closed in observance of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Delta Public Library branches will also be closed.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is to honour the memories of all those whose lives were lost and impacted as a result of Residential Schools as well as their families and their communities.

The City will be observing this day as though it were a statutory holiday as part of its ongoing commitment to truth and reconciliation. The City is focusing on education and awareness, and will be providing training to staff to encourage dialogue and learning on Residential Schools and their harmful legacy.

Traditionally, the City of Delta has commemorated September 30 of each year as Orange Shirt Day. To honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Delta City Hall and the North Delta Centre for the Arts will be lit up in orange September 27 to October 1 and special orange flags will also be flown at City Hall and North Delta Recreation Centre. Individuals and families are welcome to visit these city spaces to honour lives lost, survivors, families, and communities. The City encourages everyone to take time to reflect on the history and legacy of Residential Schools.