8. City of ottawa aboriginal working committee
Comité d'étude sur les questions autochtones de la ville d'ottawa
That Council approve the establishment of the City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee and endorse the proposed Terms of Reference, as amended by the addition of the following to bullet one under Responsibilities: “and advocate on behalf of the Aboriginal community”.
Recommandations modifiÉEs du comité
Que le Conseil approuve la création du Comité de travail autochtone et appuie le mandat proposé, tel que modifié par l’ajout de ce qui suit au point centré un sous Responsabilités : « et de défendre la cause de la communauté autochtone ».
1. Deputy City Manager report dated 22 February 2007 (ACS2007-CPS-DCM-0003).
2. Extract of Draft Minutes, 1 March 2007.
That Community and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council approve the establishment of the City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee and endorse the proposed Terms of Reference.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité des services communautaires et de protection recommande au Conseil d'approuver la création du Comité d'étude sur les questions autochtones de la Ville d'Ottawa et son mandat proposé.
§ high unemployment rate, substance abuse, illiteracy;
§ high rate of homelessness;
§ lack of mental health and social service support;
§ need for child and family service facilities;
§ lack of language and diversity options;
§ opportunities for aboriginal youth.
Since then, the Aboriginal Community, has been instrumental in advocating to City officials for greater consideration and Aboriginal involvement in City-wide initiatives specifically referencing their limited inclusion throughout the 20/20 planning and consultation processes. The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, an alliance of Aboriginal front-line service delivery organizations, met with the former Mayor in early Fall 2006, requesting that a formal relationship be established between the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition and City staff.
The City acknowledges that a collaborative partnership would provide an opportunity to develop better service delivery systems to maximize the effectiveness of services provided to the Aboriginal community and be more inclusive and responsive to their needs.
À la réunion du 4 novembre 2004 du Comité de la santé, des loisirs et des services sociaux, des représentants de la communauté autochtone ont fait un exposé intitulé « The Silent Crisis », qui illustrait les réalités de la vie des Autochtones dans la région d'Ottawa, mettant en exergue les problèmes suivants :
§ taux de chômage, de toxicomanie et d'analphabétisme élevés;
§ taux élevé d'itinérance;
§ manque d'aide en santé mentale et en services sociaux;
§ besoin d'installations de service aux enfants et aux familles;
§ manque d'options en matière de langue et de diversité;
Depuis, la communauté autochtone a été active auprès des responsables de la Ville pour qu'on tienne davantage compte des Autochtones et qu'on accroisse leur participation aux initiatives municipales de portée générale, signalant en particulier leur inclusion limitée tout au long des processus de planification et de consultation de la Vision 20/20. L'Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, un regroupement d'organismes autochtones de services de première ligne, a rencontré l'ancien maire au début de l'automne 2006 pour demander qu'une relation formelle soit établie entre elle-même et le personnel de la Ville.
La Ville reconnaît qu'un partenariat de collaboration constituerait une occasion d'améliorer les systèmes de prestation de services de façon à optimiser l'efficacité les services fournis à la communauté autochtone et à les rendre plus inclusifs et adaptés à ses besoins.
Since that time, the Community and Protective Services (CPS) staff established an Aboriginal Working Committee. Through discussions with additional agencies (United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, Champlain Local Health Integration Network) it was determined that there would be further benefits to extending the partnership to provide an opportunity for like-minded organizations to come together and work with the Aboriginal community to maximize the integration and coordination of the following services: Recreation Services; Child Care Services; Cultural Services; Community Funding; Employment and Financial Assistance; Health Services; Housing Services; Library Services; Police Services; and By-law Services.
Additional outcomes of the partnership would allow
for a stronger communication link to Council on issues/challenges experienced
within the Aboriginal community; opportunities for the
CPS, the other partners and the Aboriginal Working committee are interested in continuing a partnership with the Coalition should Ottawa be selected as the 13th pilot city to receive Federal funding under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS). The UAS was established in 1998 in response to the growing Urban Aboriginal population and the need to better serve these communities. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs through the Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians funds and administers this initiative. The initiative’s goal is to promote partnerships between the Government of Canada, local Aboriginal organizations, non-government agencies, private sector and other levels of government. An announcement on the extension of the UAS mandate and inclusion of Ottawa will be made in Spring 2007.
Provincial and Municipal government involvement, under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, is strongly encouraged and it is evidence-based that stronger Municipal partnership in existing lead sites proves more effective with regards to resources and commitments. To-date, examples of Provincial and Municipal participation has included direct project funding, in-kind contributions (staff, equipment, resources) and facilitating access to other networks and potential partners.
Community and Protective Services staff have been working very closely with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition through various branch initiatives to help build capacity in the Aboriginal Community by addressing issues including health, youth and poverty. As well, a number of Directors and front-line managers received cultural sensitivity training to ensure Aboriginal perspectives are considered in the delivery of services to Aboriginal citizens. Aboriginal representation has been included in other City initiatives such as the Community Funding Allocations Committee that is responsible in the determination of project funding.
In response to their request for a formalized relationship with the City and other community partners, CPS staff have established an Aboriginal Working Committee with participation from several organizations that interface with Aboriginal service agencies to address issues impacting their community. Membership include several Aboriginal community agency representatives (refer to Appendix A for additional details) and select CPS Branch Directors from Housing, Ottawa Public Health, Employment and Financial Assistance, Parks & Recreation, By-law, Cultural Services and Community Funding and Ottawa Public Libraries as well as external organizations: United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services and Champlain Local Health Integration Network.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) document exemplifies the focus of this Committee in that the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, United Way/Centraide Ottawa and Champlain LHIN representatives will work collectively to identify, prioritize and address Aboriginal issues at a community level.
The Aboriginal Working Committee’s proposed reporting relationship, outlined in the TOR, positions this Committee as an advisory group to the Community and Protective Services Department and the Department will report to City Council through Community and Protective Services Standing Committee. As well partnering agencies may also report to their respective Organizational Boards (United Way/Centraide Ottawa, LHIN, Libraries, Police) as required. The Terms of Reference outlines that a two-year membership commitment is required by organizational members to ensure the consistency and continuity in addressing Aboriginal issues. Lastly, the Committee will strive to work with other levels of government to implement policies and procedures that support capacity building within the Aboriginal community. Consultation opportunities with the Federal Interlocutor’s Office have already been presented through the City’s involvement with the Coalition and the possibility of an Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
To-date, several meetings and a priority planning session have occurred and the Aboriginal Working Committee is in the process of developing an action plan with specific goals, objectives and activities for 2007/2008 that include periodic updates to CPS Committee through the Community and Protective Services Department. The Aboriginal Working Committee envisions that Council’s endorsement of this formal partnership, will further contribute to the success of a collaborative working relationship with the Ottawa Aboriginal community.
The Community and Protective Services Department and partnering organizations envision that the Aboriginal Working Committee will achieve service integration by providing opportunities to be more responsive to community issues, promotes social inclusion and addresses existing inequities within communities. The objectives of this partnership with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition allows for optimum service delivery in that it does not adopt a one size fits all approach rather a creative, flexible and tailored approach to communities, collaboratively building on the community’s capacity to respond to their own issues.
Community and Protective Services share a positive and reciprocal rapport with the Aboriginal community and values the partnership ensued from working collaboratively on several community initiatives; in the celebration of many Aboriginal cultural events; and in recognition of the contributions made by Aboriginal people to the city of Ottawa.
The Department along with United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Champlain Local Health Integration Network and Ottawa Police Services, recognizes the benefits and potential of a formalized process that leads to a more engaged and strengthened relationship with the Aboriginal Community. In bringing together Senior officials from multi-service areas, various organizations and the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, will ultimately move forward a responsive and effective Aboriginal agenda to maximize the effectiveness of the services delivered to the Aboriginal Community.
The Aboriginal Working Committee members were consulted in the development of this report.
There is no financial implication as a result of this report.
Document 1: City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee – Terms of Reference
Appendix “A”: List of Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition Members
The City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee will implement the directions of Council.
The mandate of the Aboriginal Working Committee is to work collectively with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, Community and Protective Services Department, Ottawa Police Services, United Way/Centraide Ottawa and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network to identify, prioritize and develop solutions to address emerging issues that impact Aboriginal people; and to maximize the effectiveness of services delivered to the Aboriginal community.
The Aboriginal Working Committee shall be responsible for:
The Aboriginal Working Committee will act as an advisory
group to the
and Council and
The Committee will meet on a bi-monthly basis and will be required to present workplans and progress reports to Deputy City Manager, CPS and various Organizational Boards (i.e. United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, Libraries) as required.
Sub-groups comprised of City, United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, Champlain LHIN staff will meet more frequently to work on and resolve issues identified within the workplan and will be required to report periodically to the Aboriginal Working Committee.
The purpose of guiding principles is to work towards embedding a culturally inclusive perspective into our way of working when addressing issues that impact the Aboriginal community.
1. Developing the partnerships core values
The partnership between the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Police Services, United Way/Centraide Ottawa, Champlain Local Health Integration Network and Urban Aboriginal Coalition will be built on shared values and philosophies. Partnerships should:
§ Acknowledge the need to work collaboratively with Aboriginal groups (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and relevant community and government agencies;
§ Recognize that relationships between committee members is based on mutual trust and respect;
§ Engage and/or strengthen the involvement of relevant organizations to bring the necessary skills, experience and cultural expertise to begin addressing Aboriginal community identified priorities;
§ Recognize the social, historical, political and economic factors that have influenced and contributed to the health and well being of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada and Ottawa;
§ Value and respect traditional knowledge and practices of Aboriginal people that promote health and well-being within their community;
§ Establish community-based projects to help ensure that Aboriginal people are empowered to participate in and contribute to the overall health, culture, social and economic future of Ottawa.
2. Partnerships should be defined by mutually beneficial goals and objectives
§ Clearly define short and long-term goals;
§ Determine priorities and activities that meet the goals of the working committee;
§ Be aligned with the goals and policies of the respective organizations involved in the working committee.
should be driven by a clear process and structure
§ Each member should have a point person (staff) to manage the partnerships and ensure quality and alignment with goals set forth by the Committee and Aboriginal community;
§ Partnerships should be guided by a written collaborative agreement on outcomes, benchmarks and measures of progress;
§ Aboriginal sensitivity training could be available for stakeholders involved within the process.
4. Partnerships should include plans which clearly articulate expectations of all parties
§ Partnerships should communicate regularly about intended and actual outcomes of all activities;
§ Measures for success should be established at the outset of the partnership;
§ Partnerships should be evaluated on a regular, agreed-upon basis;
§ Provide regular progress reports to demonstrate the progress and benefits resulting from the partnerships (include accomplishments, strengths and areas for improvement).
The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition
The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition is an alliance of Aboriginal delivery organizations that provide front-line programs and services to Aboriginal people living in the Ottawa area. The current members of the Coalition are:
Non-Profit Housing Corporation: provides access to quality and affordable
housing for low-to-moderate income Aboriginal families and individuals.
Lodge Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre:
provides direct services and programs for Aboriginal women, children and
youth who are survivors of family violence, the residential school system and
Native Friendship Centre: helps meet
the needs of Aboriginal people moving to Ottawa and adapting to an urban
environment. Services also include:
family support, healing and wellness, employment referral and training, and
Transition House: eight bed
transitional home for Aboriginal youth that offers a safe, culture-base
environment with a live-in Grandmother/Elder.
Program focuses primarily on life skills.
Centre for Aboriginal Health: delivers
services that focuses on prevention, treatment and provides support and
aftercare. Clinic offers a wide range
of traditional and western health services to meet the needs of Aboriginal
people in Ottawa and the surrounding area.
Tungsuvvingat Inuit do not consider themselves part of the Coalition although they are interested in being involved in the Urban Aboriginal Strategy. The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition has notified Tungsuvvingat Inuit of their involvement and progress in working with the City of Ottawa officials and several organizations to address Aboriginal community needs.
Tungsuvvingat Inuit: aims at empowering and enhancing the lives of Inuit residing in Ontario. Since 1987, TI has been operating in Ottawa as a community-based counselling and resource centre. TI offers a supportive environment that attempts to duplicate the community spirit and cultural surrounding of the Inuit homelands. Visitors at the drop-in centre can make tea and bannock; catch up on news from home by reading northern newspapers, and socialize with other Inuit.
City of ottawa aboriginal working committee
COMITÉ D'ÉTUDE SUR LES QUESTIONS AUTOCHTONES DE LA VILLE D'OTTAWA
Steve Kanellakos, Deputy City Manager introduced Marc Maracle, Executive Director, Gignul Non-Profit Housing Corporation; Michael Allen, United Way; David Pepper, Director of Community Development Communications, OPS; and Deputy Chief Larry Hill, OPS. In a general introduction to the report, he noted there were a number of issues affecting the Aboriginal community that were not being recognized by the City. And, since those issues were first brought to the attention of the former Health, Recreation and Social Services Committee, there has been an incredible spirit of collaboration and cooperation between representatives from the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, staff and other community agencies in an effort to look at how the City delivers services and how to work together to make it a better city for all concerned.
Mr. Kanellakos clarified that the working group is not an advisory committee to Council, but is a group of people responsible for delivering services to the community and taking direct action to generate outcomes. He added that there is an opportunity for the City to work with other levels of government and businesses to influence social policies that impact the well being of the Aboriginal community and to enhance and coordinate services as well as to identify gaps. It is hoped that Ottawa will be designated as an Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) as it will encourage funding opportunities from the senior levels of government and would provide impetus for the City locally.
Marc Maracle, Executive Director, Gignul Non-Profit Housing Corporation provided specific details on Aboriginal children and youth; health; housing and homelessness. He also provided background on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, a program established by the federal government, which gives funding to provide services to the Aboriginal community. He explained that there is an active consideration for Ottawa to be considered under a renewed mandate as one of the cities to receive funding. In order to qualify, the Aboriginal community must have partnerships with the municipal and provincial governments, as well as some indication of a developing relationship in terms of the private sector. Additional details of his presentation are held on file.
Councillor Holmes suggested that ‘advocacy’ be included in the proposed terms of reference, to ensure communities work to bring the difficulties of those communities to the public. The committee agreed to consider the following Motion at this time:
Moved by D. Holmes
That the Terms of Reference be amended to include the following text at the end of the first bullet under Responsibilities: “and advocate on behalf of the Aboriginal community”.
Councillor Bédard was particularly interested in the UAS and asked how the City could ensure the federal government designates Ottawa as such. Mr. Maracle believed that Council’s continued endorsement of this proposal is critical and that such support should be communicated to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians (Jim Prentice). The councillor felt that as a second step, Mr. Maracle could report back to the Committee, via staff, with a recommendation for a Motion supporting this proposal, which could then be sent to the Minister.
Mr. Maracle indicated that the federal government has received previous support for this initiative from former Mayor Bob Chiarelli as well as from the OPS. However, he advised that the Coalition would be more than willing to work through staff and the Committee to create an appropriate Motion of support.
That Community and Protective Services Committee recommend that Council approve the establishment of the City of Ottawa Aboriginal Working Committee and endorse the proposed Terms of Reference, as amended by the addition of the following text to bullet one under Responsibilities: “and advocate on behalf of the Aboriginal community”.
CARRIED, as amended