OHRC and OFIFC reaffirm joint commitment to reconciliation
TORONTO – In April, 2019, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) and the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC) renewed an agreement, originally signed in July 2017, to work together with the ultimate goal of ending discrimination against Indigenous peoples in Ontario. The renewed agreement reinforces our ongoing collaboration with urban Indigenous communities based on trust, dignity, respect and a shared commitment to reconciliation and substantive equality.
The OFIFC and the OHRC will continue to work together to build the capacity and human rights knowledge of OFIFC and Friendship Centre staff, share information and data, and engage with urban Indigenous people on policy development. They will coordinate provincial advocacy in key areas such as health care, child welfare, criminal justice, the over-representation of Indigenous people in the provincial corrections system and systemic issues related to violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Reconciliation is one of the OHRC’s strategic priority areas. This agreement reflects the OHRC’s commitment to engage with Indigenous leaders and communities on common issues and concerns. It will help connect the OHRC with the 85.5 per cent of Indigenous people who live in urban areas and are protected from discrimination in housing, employment and services under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Friendship Centres are the primary service delivery agents for Indigenous peoples seeking culturally sensitive and culturally appropriate services in urban communities.
“In collaborating with the OHRC, we have worked to increase Indigenous peoples’ capacity to engage with the provincial human rights system across the Friendship Centre network,” said Armand Jourdain, OFIFC President. “Our strengthened partnership allows us to continue to address the disproportionate rate of discrimination Indigenous people face.”
“Over the past two years, the OFIFC has helped the OHRC to better understand and address systemic discrimination,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane. “Renewing our agreement to work closely with the OFIFC demonstrates the OHRC’s commitment to maintain trusting and sustainable relationships with diverse Indigenous communities across Ontario.”
The OHRC has successfully collaborated with the OFIFC to provide joint training, engage with Indigenous peoples in settings across the province, and provide input into each other’s educational, policy development and communications activities.
Communications & Issues Management
Ontario Human Rights Commission/Commission ontarienne des droits de la personne
Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres
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