Transforming Our Cities

Kamala Todd in conversation with Becky Sasakamoose Kuffner.

With the vast majority of urban Indigenous people living in Canadian cities, our rights to these urban villages has never been more important. Grassroots movements have sprung up in urban centres big and small to support our community members and demand improvements and full rights. Organisations and friendship centres and housing and health and family services emerged, and slowly political structures emerged. Representing our community needs is done through Indigenous formations and in colonial forms, and coalitions of Indigenous groups can play a pivotal role to promote local collaboration, amplify local needs, and develop and resource local action plans to address local priorities. Urban Indigenous community members drive this change often led by our Elders, and we collaborate with municipal and regional governments, host First Nations, and we involve our own speakers, community planners, university researchers, elected officials, and more.

This journal is titled ‘Stories Have Always Been Our Governance’ because the heart of our work is our practices of sharing knowledge. As urban Indigenous coalitions across Canada, we have come together and created the Urban Indigenous Knowledge Mobilisation Hub to emphasize that we are our own experts and we know the solutions and we can effectively share it amongst our coalitions to bring real change. After a year of delivering online workshops, our national council launched a new “Governance Series” in March 2022 to run for the next year. We will bring our coalitions together to share stories of specific solutions for urban Indigenous governance. We will bring that knowledge into the Journal as well as through online events with archives on our website. Look for these important stories from the frontlines of Indigenous leadership, civic decision making and governance, and urban policy development that brings change and solutions to our lives as urban Indigenous Peoples. Recently, Becky Kaskamoose Kuffner, Co-chair of NUICC, spoke with with Métis-Cree geographer Kamala Todd on her decades of experience building system change for Urban Indigenous peoples. We are excited to hear more from Kamala in this year’s governance series as we take on the tough work of designing strategies and delivering breakthroughs for future generations.

Read the entire article pg.13 (EN, FR).