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New Plan to Improve Services for Indigenous People in Urban and Rural Areas

Archived Bulletin

New Plan to Improve Services for Indigenous People in Urban and Rural Areas

Ontario and Indigenous Partners Co-Develop Plan to Better Address Urban Indigenous Needs

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is working to better address urban Indigenous needs through a new Urban Indigenous Action Plan.

Developed with Indigenous partners, the goal of the plan is to address barriers that many Indigenous peoples in Ontario, including First Nation, Inuit and Métis, face in accessing services and opportunities, including access to education, employment, social services and housing.

The plan helps guide the province in developing policies, programs and practices so that they better meet the needs and priorities of urban and rural Indigenous peoples, organizations and communities. The plan supports reconciliation between urban Indigenous peoples, organizations and communities, the provincial government and the broader public service by:

  • Recognizing relationships and Indigenous expertise as the foundational requirements for policy and program development
  • Guiding government and the broader public service to work with Indigenous partners to develop responsive, inclusive policies, programs and evaluations that meet the needs of urban Indigenous organizations and communities. This includes culture-based and prevention-focused approaches, best identified and led by urban Indigenous communities.

All organizations and institutions in Ontario can use this plan as a tool to collaboratively develop better services and achieve better outcomes for Indigenous peoples.

The Urban Indigenous Action Plan is one of many steps on the journey to healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects Ontario's commitment to work with Indigenous partners to build a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts

  • 86 per cent of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples in Ontario live in urban or rural areas
  • The plan was developed collaboratively by Ontario, the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC), the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), with input from urban Indigenous organizations and communities across Ontario.

Additional Resources


“Ontario has co-developed this plan with Indigenous partners, working together on this important framework every step of the way. By recognizing Indigenous expertise and relationships as the foundation for program development and delivery, I believe this plan will help improve the lives of many Indigenous people in Ontario.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“ONWA is proud to work in partnership with Indigenous organizations and the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation to advance the rights of Indigenous women across the province. The Urban Indigenous Action Plan will support much needed advancements in relationships, programs and policy development, with a focus on urban Indigenous women, their families and communities. I am especially pleased to know our work together is based on respect for the expertise of Indigenous women in our communities, recognizing their leadership and right to participate as full partners on issues that are most important to them. Our hope is that all organizations in Ontario utilize this plan and join us in honouring Indigenous women.”

Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard

President, Ontario Native Women's Association

“The Urban Indigenous Action Plan was developed to address the growing need for urban Indigenous community input in policy development in Ontario. This plan will be a tool for all ministries across the Government of Ontario to incorporate Indigenous expertise and knowledge in public policy development. It sets a benchmark for how the public sector will work collaboratively with urban Indigenous communities and organizations. It also commits the Government of Ontario to respect existing protocols and urban Indigenous governance approaches. We are pleased to see this plan come to successful fruition and look forward to building partnerships across all of government, with this plan as the foundation of our working relationships.”

Sylvia Maracle

Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres

“Over the last 25 years, the Métis Nation of Ontario has been delivering programs and services in communities across Ontario. We look forward to working directly with all Ontario Ministries and partners to implement the principles and priorities of the Urban Indigenous Action Plan in an effort to create positive outcomes for Métis families and communities.”

Margaret Froh

President, Métis Nation of Ontario

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