The Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogue (VURD) Steering Committee wants to reflect a grassroots approach where the ultimate accountability is to the urban Indigenous community of the Victoria area, and their allies. The Steering Committee will be supported to gather community partners to explore common interests in reconciliation through an Advisory Panel first, and then with the community at large.
The VURD Steering Committee seeks to work with the community to examine the meaning and impact of reconciliation for the Victoria region from an urban Indigenous context, while including perspectives that are diverse and cover a wide demographic of the region.
Three key areas of focus include:
On March 29, 2018, fourteen individuals from urban Indigenous organizations, government, and community gathered at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre to engage in a dialogue about reconciliation in the Victoria area. Participants at this initial gathering represented diverse Indigenous and non-Indigenous ancestry and came from community and all levels of non-Indigenous governments. This group now forms the Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogue (VURD) Steering Committee.
The Victoria Urban Reconciliation Dialogue ("The Dialogue") is an opportunity to identify concrete actions focused on reconciliation in the Victoria area, which encompasses an Indigenous population of over 17,000 people including those of First Nations, Métis and Inuit decent.
There are over 17,000 people of First Nations, Métis and Inuit descent living in Greater Victoria. The VURD Steering Committee will strive to provide access and opportunity for the community at large, along with all the non-Indigenous allies, to be heard and contribute to VURD. The Committee will strive to organize community events, provide strong external communication and be accountable and transparent to the community they serve.
The Advisory Panel provides direction on creating meaningful grassroots reconciliation actions that correspond with strategic directions and/or shared linkages, including advising on gathering the greater community for engagement. The Advisory Panel is selected by the Steering Committee and Panel recommendations get presented to the Steering Committee for consideration of further action.
The Panel is approximately 35 people invited by the Committee and will be reflective of the broader Indigenous community to ensure a full spectrum of interests are presented.
The Steering Committee will be supported by a working group, comprised of technicians from agencies represented on the Committee. The working group will implement decisions of the Steering Committee and be accountable to the Steering Committee. The working group self manages their workload and meetings and communicates with the co-chairs between meetings to report on progress, as well as seek further direction on assignments.
There are two co-chairs of the Steering Committee. One co-chair is from MIRR and the other co-chair is from VNFC. The co-chairs are responsible to call meetings as required, draft the agenda, ensure meeting facilitation, and enable decision-making of the Steering Committee.
The Committee will operate on the principle of consensus and all efforts will be made to gain consensus.