National Council for Reconciliation Act becomes law, a positive step toward fulfilling Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

News release

April 30, 2024 — Ottawa, Ontario, Unceded Algonquin Traditional Territory — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, Bill C-29, which provides for the establishment of the National Council for Reconciliation (the Council), received Royal Assent and officially became Canadian law.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which heard testimony and took direction from Survivors to draft the Calls to Action, envisioned an Indigenous-led, independent, and permanent Council to ensure long-term progress on reconciliation in Canada. Call to Action 53 called on the federal government to enact legislation to establish the Council. Bill C-29 is a direct response to this Call to Action and also lays the foundation to address Calls to Action 54, 55, and 56.

The Council, which will be representative of the diversity of Indigenous Peoples in Canada and supported by nominations from the National Indigenous Organizations, will monitor, evaluate, and report on efforts to advance reconciliation and implement the Calls to Action. The Bill provides a framework for activities of the Council, including the development of a multi-year action plan to advance reconciliation, monitoring the policies, programs, and laws of the Government of Canada affecting Indigenous Peoples, and advocating for reconciliation in all sectors of Canadian society. The Council will produce an annual report on the progress being made toward reconciliation across all levels of government and sectors of Canadian society. This report must be tabled in both the House of Commons and the Senate, and the Prime Minister must provide a response as per Call to Action 56.  

Discussions throughout the parliamentary process — which included testimony from Survivors and Indigenous organizations — strengthened the legislation by considering the distinct perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis while also respecting the vision for the Council as expressed by Survivors through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Government of Canada is fully committed to implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which together provide us with a roadmap to reconciliation.

Quotes

“The National Council for Reconciliation will hold our feet to the fire as we continue to walk the path of reconciliation in this country. The road ahead requires hard work from all levels of government, businesses, civil society, and more. Many voices have strengthened this legislation, and I thank them for their contributions. More to do.”

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“It is an honour and a privilege to participate, along with my colleagues on the Transition Committee and members of the government, in the creation of the National Reconciliation Council. This milestone marks a great moment in the history of relations between our peoples and is a pledge of hope for the future.“

Édith Cloutier, C.M., C.Q.
Transitional Committee member

“In light of this momentous occasion, I am grateful to my fellow committee members, our partners at the federal government, and all those who committed time and energy for the creation of the new National Council for Reconciliation.”

Dr. Mike DeGagné, C.M.
Transitional Committee member

Quick facts

  • The legislation responds directly to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 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 toward 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.
  • Since December 2021, the Interim Board and then the Transitional Committee of the Council have provided important leadership to advance the vision for the Council expressed by Survivors. The testimony from Survivors and Indigenous organizations to Parliamentary Committees has led to legislation that will enable the Council to take a central role in facilitating dialogue, holding governments accountable, and advancing reconciliation.

  • The Transitional Committee will now lead work to establish the first Board of the Council, and then formally constitute the Council under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. Members of the Transitional Committee are Dr. Mike DeGagné, Édith Cloutier, Rosemary Cooper, and Mitch Case. Former Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Wilton Littlechild was previously a member of the Transitional Committee.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
matthieu.perrotin@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

CIRNAC Media Relations:
RCAANC.Media.CIRNAC@sac-isc.gc.ca
819-934-2302

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