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Indigenous-Municipal Relations in Canada: Where Do We Stand?

November 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

With close to half of Indigenous Peoples living in urban areas, ensuring strong, deep Indigenous-municipal relationships across Canada is vital. Yet, Canadian municipalities are often unsure what duties and obligations they owe First Nations and Indigenous Peoples living in their jurisdictions.

On November 4, 2021, Doug Anderson and Alexandra Flynn discussed some of the key questions on the way forward to improved Indigenous-municipal relationships. Do municipalities, like federal and provincial governments, have a “duty to consult,” and is this duty the appropriate framework for Indigenous-municipal relationships? How have municipalities reformed their governance in the last decade to strengthen relationships with Indigenous Peoples? And what more can be done to respond to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action?

Working from their paper for IMFG, Anderson and Flynn looked at how Indigenous-municipal relations can move forward in a reciprocal and respectful manner.

View video


Doug Anderson (Bungee Métis) is the Creative and Strategic Director at Invert Media. He has consulted on Indigenous education and community development across Canada. Since 2001, he has devoted much of his energy to the translation of Indigenous perspectives into diverse education systems, media, and environmental policy and practice, and has been consulted widely in all these areas. Doug enjoys the challenge of designing and building new platforms for reflecting Indigenous knowledge. He is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Education, York University. 

Dr. Alexandra Flynn is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law and a Fellow at the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance. Her teaching and research focus on municipal law and governance, and administrative law. Her current SSHRC-funded project concerns the legal relationships between Indigenous communities and municipal governments. She is also completing a book titled Micro Legal Spaces: The Laws of Neighbourhoods and Communities. She has a long history of volunteer work in the areas of homelessness and access to justice.


Ginger Gosnell-Myers (Nisga’a and Kwakwak’awakw) is the Fellow in Decolonization and Urban Indigenous Planning at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. She is a thought leader and practitioner who brings a deep understanding of urban Indigenous issues, years of practice in bridging Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in developing public policy and a passion for innovating new engagement processes that advance the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. From 2013–18, she worked as the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous relations manager.


November 4
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm