Check out the strategy and actions to improve the lives of urban Indigenous people in Surrey.



News & Updates

Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee Launches New Website

Check out the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee's new website.

Launch Website 

The City of Surrey acknowledges the traditional territories of the Semiahmoo, Katzie, Kwikwetlem, Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen First Nations.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) exposed the terrible legacy of the Indian Residential School System and the on-going trauma for survivors. With Surrey having one of the largest urban Indigenous populations in BC, the City is taking a proactive response to the call to action by the TRC.

All Our Relations Social Innovation Strategy

In 2015, the City convened the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee to guide the development of a Social Innovation Strategy. The Strategy was released in 2017:

Social Innovation Strategy

The Strategy addresses the findings contained in the All Our Relations Phase 1 Report. The objective of the Strategy is to build and strengthen relationships at all levels of the community and to improve the economic participation, educational attainment and health outcomes for the Indigenous population in Surrey.

Read about SUILC's progress in implementing the All Our Relations Strategy:

SUILC Progress Report 2019

Profile of the Indigenous Population in Surrey

Did you know that Surrey is now home to the largest urban Indigenous population in BC?

Over 13,000 Indigenous people call Surrey home. Find out more in this report commissioned by the Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee and released May 2019:

Profile of the Indigenous Population

Skookum Lab

Skookum means strong, powerful, and brave. With the support of strong leadership, powerful methodologies, and a brave community, Skookum Lab is developing new ways to address Indigenous chidl and youth poverty in Surrey.

Convened by SUILC, Skookum Lab puts Indigenous wisdom at the centre of our activities. Skookum uses a social innovation approach to tackle this complex issue in BC's largest urban Indigenous community.

Read more about our progress:

Skookum Lab Progress Report 2019


Get Involved


All Our Relations Strategy Implementation

The Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee (SUILC) is working hard to implement the Strategy, in collaboration with other organizations and individuals in Surrey. Focussed on five priority themes, current and recent activities are described below. Funding for SUILC to work towards Strategy implementation is provided by the Department of Indigenous Services Canada.


Education and Awareness Building

  • Orange Shirt Day: Since 2016, the City of Surrey and SUILC have partnered to hold events to honour Orange Shirt Day in the City of Surrey.
  • Louis Riel Day: Mayor Doug McCallum proclaimed November 16 as Louis Riel Day in the City of Surrey.This day celebrates the life and achievements of Louis Riel, a great Canadian politician and persistent advocate for the rights of the Métis people.
  • National Indigenous People's Day Celebration is held annually on June 21.
  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP): In September 2017, Surrey City Council unanimously endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for the City to use in its on-going process of reconciliation with local First Nations and urban Indigenous peoples in Surrey. 
  • Building Solidarity Between Indigenous and Refugee Communities in Surrey: a series of dialogues in 2018 brought together Indigenous and refugee youth for intercultural exchange, celebration and community building. These dialogues were a collaboration between youth from the Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association and the Surrey Local Immigration Partnership.
  • The Celebrating Métis Art event provided an opportunity for Métis youth and anyone interested to learn about Métis culture by drawing traditional flower patterns with Métis artist Lisa Shepherd. Organized by Métis BC Nation, Nova Métis and the City of Surrey.


Expanding Urban Indigenous Leadership Capacity

  • Recognizing Indigenous Leadership: Each year the SUILC recognizes two individuals for their long-standing and exceptional dedication to the urban Indigenous community in Surrey. In 2018, the SUILC recognized Tom Oleman, Executive Director of Cwenengitel, and the Surrey Indigenous Youth Advisory Council at FRAFCA for their leadership.


Protocol and Partnerships


Urban Indigenous Child Poverty Task Force

  • 38% of Indigenous children and youth in Surrey live in poverty. Multiple systems interact in complex ways to create Indigenous child poverty. Band-aid solutions will never get at the deep systemic change required. Skookum Lab is SUILC's key initiative to address this complex problem. The Skookum Lab is made possible with funding from the Vancouver Foundation, as well as the Vancity Community Foundation.


Indigenous Spaces in the City

  • The All Our Relations report identified that there is no clear centre or gathering place for the Indigenous community in Surrey. The SUILC is exploring opportunities to create a multi-use centre, with access to services and cultural gathering space in Surrey.


Council Reports


Additional Resources



Partners & Funders

The Surrey Urban Indigenous Leadership Committee has received funding from: