Strengthening relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians is important to municipal governments and their residents across Ontario. Working together, municipal and Indigenous governments can advance mutual interests, address shared concerns and enhance neighbourly relations. As service providers, municipal governments must be responsive to the needs of Indigenous residents and Indigenous service-users who travel from neighbouring communities to access municipal services. Indigenous Ontarians also contribute to local economies and the cultural vitality of Ontario’s municipalities.

Many municipal governments have taken actions to improve and deepen relationships with neighbouring First Nation and Métis governments as well as Indigenous service providers. They are also taking action to improve relations with Indigenous residents living within the municipality. Indigenous advisory councils, joint council meetings, ‘urban’ Indigenous action plans and other municipal reconciliatory activities are increasingly common. The Federal and Provincial Crowns can facilitate municipal-Indigenous relationship building on the ground by supporting and funding local reconciliatory activities. Municipal governments, Indigenous governments and the Federal and Provincial Crowns should work together to address outstanding issues impacting municipal-Indigenous relations such as the Duty to Consult and Accommodate, and the municipal role in land claims and treaty negotiations.

AMO’s newly created Indigenous Relations Task Force (IRTF) provides the AMO Board with advice to further municipal-Indigenous relationship building on the ground. It also provides advice on emerging Municipal-Indigenous relations policy issues affecting Ontario’s municipal governments.