Surrey Urban Aboriginal Innovation Strategy underway

The city is in the midst of developing an Aboriginal strategy given the growing population.

The city is developing a Surrey Urban Aboriginal Innovation Strategy given the growing population.

SURREY — An Aboriginal strategy is in the works for Surrey given the growing population in the city.

The city received $90,000 from the British Columbia Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) to develop the plan.

According to Census data, there were 10,955 Aboriginal people living in Surrey in 2011, up from 7,630 in 2006.

“There’s certainly a massively disproportionate challenge ahead for the City of Surrey where unlike Vancouver, there’s a very small number of service agencies in the city,” said Paul Lacerte with the BCAAFC.

“They have about 28 Aboriginal agencies and service organizations, where Surrey has about four with a very similar population.”

He noted education is critical in helping Aboriginal people to improve their social and economic well-being.

Surrey’s Aboriginal population is young, a city report notes, with 3,492 students enrolled in the district in 2013-14, more than Vancouver’s 2,227.

Coun. Vera LeFranc, chair of the leadership committee set up to guide the project, said while the city has a high number of Aboriginal children, the school district doesn’t have “culturally-safe” programs to serve them.

“We know that Aboriginal kids are twice as likely to live in poverty. It’s quite stark,” she said. “We hear the inter-generational trauma of residential schools still exists, racism, etc. Kids are just not able to thrive in that environment.”

The goal of the plan, LeFranc continued, is to look at the profile of the community in Surrey and what their needs are.

“We hear they travel to Vancouver for services,” she said. “There’s this huge gap…. And while I’m chairing the committee, we really are asking our Aboriginal community to lead this.”

The goals of the strategy are to increase Aboriginal residents’ participation in the economy and achievement in education as well as to promote health.

It’s expected the plan will be competed by March 2016.

amy.reid@thenownewspaper.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

Most Read