- SEMESTER IN DIALOGUE
- SFU COMMUNITY
DECOLONIZATION AND URBAN INDIGENOUS PLANNING
Ginger Gosnell-Myers, who is a member of the Nisga’a and Kwakwak'awakw Nations has been bringing forward new perspectives of Indigenous peoples in cities for over 20 years, while breaking down misconceptions about urban Indigenous realities in order to reframe our understanding of both issues and opportunities.
This led Gosnell-Myers to become the City of Vancouver’s first Indigenous Relations Manager where she was central to advancing Vancouver as the world’s first official City of Reconciliation, and created the City’s reconciliation framework to ensure Indigenous identities and worldviews were respected and reflected in all City plans. Key to this work was supporting Vancouver City Council in recognizing that it was on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh homelands – the only government in Canada to officially recognize this truth. Also integral was implementing the 28 out of the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action, along with the adoption and recognition of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into all aspects of City planning. This has significantly changed how the City of Vancouver operates, and ensures that Vancouver will create a new urban identity that respects, includes, and reflects Indigenous culture.
The results of her leadership on advancing reconciliation while at the City led to numerous awards including the 2014 City of Vancouver Service Award, Legacy Achievement Award – Year of Reconciliation team, 2014 Union of BC Municipality Community Excellence Award: Leadership & Innovation, Accessibility & Inclusion - City of Vancouver’s Year of Reconciliation, and 2019 Pierre L'Enfant International Planning Award for the Northeast False Creek Plan "A Plan for Reconciliation".
Gosnell-Myers served as the Project Manager and Public Engagement Director for the Environics Institute’s Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study - Canada’s largest research study on Aboriginal people living in cities, focusing on their values, aspirations, experiences and identity – and challenged the largely held misconceptions holding up unjust assumptions and structures that further alienated this exceptional and fast-growing population. In 2010 the UAPS received the Public Policy Impact Award by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, and the IPAC/Deloitte Public Sector Leadership Award for not for profit organizations.
Gosnell-Myers is an Action Canada Fellow 2004, former Co-Chair to the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council, former President of Urban Native Youth Association, and sits as a Board Member for the Inspirit Foundation, and Greenpeace Canada. She is a sought-after speaker and has facilitated and presented at several provincial, national and international events, including the International Indigenous Women & Wellness Conference, the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples and the United Nations
Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples. She has been featured in the inspirational book: Notes from Canada’s Young Activists: A Generation Stands up for Change (2007) and a 2012 CBC documentary series “8th Fire”. She has delivered a TedX Talk - ‘Canadian Shame: A history of Residential Schools’, and a Walrus Talk - ‘Who do you think we are’.