District of North Vancouver council is turning its attention toward combating racial injustice.
Coun. Megan Curren brought forward a motion Monday night calling on the district to join the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, a United Nations initiative dating back to 2004.
Cities that join the coalition are expected to develop and implement a plan of action to advance inclusion at the municipal level. It specifically names service delivery, employment, housing and cultural activities as areas where municipalities can strengthen their own policies. Dozens of Canadian municipalities have already signed on to join the coalition.
Curren stressed the importance of making people who have experienced oppression the centre of the process.
“What I felt called upon to do was to use my privilege that I have to hopefully get the council supportive of making it clear to staff and to our community that we hear you, we see you and we feel that we need to take action,” she said.
Curren said confronting racism must be done on an individual level but also on an institutional level, beginning with difficult conversations.
“White supremacy, which is the system that we live in, is a system that is upheld through silence and it's upheld when we choose our comfort over justice,” she said.
Curren’s motion also calls on the district to begin implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action that are in municipal jurisdiction.
Support for Curren’s motion was unanimous.
At a future workshop meeting, council members will discuss with staff what changes they’d like to see made.