Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

Dear Minister Lametti,

We write to express our support for the Government of Canada’s commitment to pass legislation that creates a framework to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Commission on Justice and Peace of the Canadian Council of Churches, along with many other faith communities, has affirmed the Declaration as a framework for reconciliation in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #48. Further parliamentary action on the Declaration is a critical element of our collective responsibility for reconciliation.

Our support for such legislation is framed and shaped by the following considerations:

  •   Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons in the last Parliament. That bill had the wide support of Indigenous communities, was the subject of helpful debate in a Parliamentary committee (including testimony from 71 witnesses) and had the active support of many faith and civil society groups. We are pleased to hear that the Government of Canada considers Bill C-262 to be the floor for implementation legislation in this Parliament and will support that principle.
  •   Public spotlights on systemic racism further underline the urgency of measures to protect Indigenous rights in law. Therefore, we urge you to honour the Government of Canada’s commitment to the legislation as a high priority.
  •   Adequate and clear commitments to community-based consultation and implementation, both during the legislation creation process and once legislation is in place, are essential to any co-development efforts focused on Indigenous support for the legislation.
  •   The Truth and Reconciliation Commission refers to the Declaration as a framework for reconciliation in both Call to Action 43 and 48. We trust that legislative implementation of the Declaration would move Canada from noble words of apology and aspiration to active and justiciable Indigenous rights. This is critical for the integrity of reconciliation in this place today called Canada.
File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Reconciliation
Tags: Indigenous reconciliation, reconciliation, systemic racism, Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Author: Chair of the Commission on Justice and Peace (Donna Geernaert SC)