Government Introduces legislation to establish National Council for Reconciliation
June 22, 2022 — Ottawa, ON — Unceded Traditional Territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg Nation – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, introduced Bill C-29, National Council for Reconciliation Act, in Parliament.
In their Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) called upon the Parliament of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, to enact legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation. If passed, the Bill tabled today would enable creation of the National Council for Reconciliation to fulfill Call to Action 53. The proposed legislation would also respond to Call to Action 54, which has previously been supported through a commitment of $126.5 million in 2019 Budget for the establishment of the Council. The Bill would also lay the foundation to address Calls to Action 55 and 56.
The Government of Canada acknowledges all the work that has been done by the TRC, the Interim Board for the National Council for Reconciliation, and, most recently, the Transitional Committee that was created in December 2021 to advance the work that has led to this Bill.
As envisioned by the TRC, an Indigenous-led, independent and permanent National Council for Reconciliation would strive to ensure that long-term progress on reconciliation in Canada is supported and sustained through commitment to reconciliation and accountability. The Council would monitor, evaluate and report on reconciliation efforts, including the implementation of the Calls to Action, as well as be a catalyst for innovative thought, dialogue and action. The Council would also engage with Canadians to create a better understanding of reconciliation, and find common ground to build a better, stronger future for everyone.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the harmful legacy of residential schools continues to affect Survivors, their families and Indigenous communities. The introduction of Bill C-29 demonstrates the Government's commitment to advancing reconciliation and to renewing the relationship with Indigenous Peoples. This legislation also aligns with the Government's commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
"Our government is committed to implementing the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This legislation is incredibly important as it responds directly to the Call to Action 53, and if the legislation passes, it will provide a basis to implement Calls to Action 54-56. We will continue working with the Transitional Committee and partners to take a collaborative approach that leads to concrete actions that advance reconciliation."
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
The introduction of this draft legislation responds directly to the TRC Calls to Action, specifically:
- Call to Action 53 – call upon the Parliament of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to enact legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation.
- Call to Action 54 – call upon the Government of Canada to provide multi-year funding for the National Council for Reconciliation, including the endowment of a National Reconciliation Trust.
- Call to Action 55 – call upon all levels of government to provide annual reports or any current data requested by the National Council for Reconciliation so that it can report on the progress towards reconciliation.
- Call to Action 56 – call upon the Prime Minister of Canada to formally respond to the report of the National Council for Reconciliation by issuing an annual "State of Aboriginal Peoples" report.
On December 16, 2021, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations held an inaugural meeting with the Transitional Committee to discuss the vision for the Council, key milestones and timelines, as well as a proposed engagement approach.
In March 2022, the Transitional Committee provided its recommendations to the Minister, building on the 2018 final report of the Interim Board.
In May 2022, bilateral meetings between the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and Métis National Council were held to build awareness of the progress towards establishing the Council and to discuss any concerns.
If the Bill passes, the next steps will be the establishment of the Council's first Board of Directors, who will take steps to set up the Council as a not-for-profit organization.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations
CIRNAC Media Relations:
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