History of the UAS in Metro Vancouver

In 1997, the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) was developed to address the growing Aboriginal populations living in Canada’s urban centers and to address their socio-economic conditions. In 2003, pilot projects were undertaken in eight cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Toronto. In 2005, four additional cities were added: Lethbridge, Prince George, Prince Albert and Thompson. The pilot phase for the UAS in Vancouver occurred between April 1, 2003 and March 31, 2007. From 2004 to 2007, the Greater Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy Steering Committee was guided by the committee’s strategic plan which focused on four key areas: Youth, Health, Homelessness and Housing, and Arts and Culture. The GVUAS partnered on projects in these areas with all levels of government, as well as school boards, research centres and numerous non-profit organizations. In 2007 the Federal Government announced the 5 year renewal of the UAS with a budget of 68.5 million over 5 years to 2012.

In response to the renewal of the UAS, the GVUAS Steering Committee conducted a stakeholder and community engagement process to garner feedback on future directions. As a result, the community recommended that changes to the committee’s composition and structure were a fundamental step towards implementing a renewed strategy.

Applications for community member positions on the committee were assessed by an independent selection panel on April 15th, 2008. The MVUAS community committee convened for the first time on May 15th, 2008. The new MVUAS committee will focus on improving the socio-economic condition of Metro Vancouver's Aboriginal community through: partnering with community organizations, the non-profit sector, the private sector, various levels of government and by strategically identifying initiatives related to the three UAS national priorities:

  1. Improving life skills;
  2. Promoting job training, skills and entrepreneurship; and,
  3. Supporting Aboriginal women, children and families