Statement on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, today issued the following statement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:
“Today, we commemorate the painful history of residential schools in Canada and honour and provide space for the Survivors, the missing children, the families and the communities who felt and continue to feel the devastating impacts of these institutions.
“From 1831 to 1998, there were 140 residential schools in Canada, the last school closing less than 30 years ago. These institutions caused intergenerational impacts and irreversible trauma. Survivors and families continue to advocate for recognition and reparations and to demand acknowledgement and accountability.
“The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [the UN Declaration] affirms the human rights of Indigenous Peoples and provides a lasting road map to reconciliation. Global Affairs Canada is guided by the UN Declaration when developing foreign policy initiatives that would impact the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The full, equal, and meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples, including Indigenous women, is a key requirement in any attempt to build a more peaceful and prosperous world.
“In June 2021, Global Affairs Canada launched the Action Plan on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, which provides a framework to guide departmental efforts to advance the rights, perspectives and prosperity of Indigenous Peoples. During the first year of the action plan, Canada made contributions to advancing reconciliation and took steps to better support, collaborate with and learn from Indigenous Peoples. Canada is committed to promoting Indigenous Peoples’ rights and perspectives, including, particularly, those of Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ persons, through bilateral engagement with other governments and with Indigenous partners in Canada and abroad.
“The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation reminds us that as much as we strive to be a country that values and welcomes our diversity, there is still much work to do. To that end, government departments are working to address inequalities in their own systems. Through its Anti-racism Strategy, Global Affairs Canada reiterates its commitment to addressing systemic racism, racial discrimination and bias within the department. This strategy aims to make the department an equitable and inclusive organization, at home and abroad, that reflects Canada’s culturally diverse society.
“Canada is dedicated to collaborating and engaging with Indigenous Peoples on issues that affect them and to ensuring that Indigenous Peoples in Canada can benefit from the opportunities that flow from international trade and investment. In 2021, Canada, alongside New Zealand, Australia and Chinese Taipei, endorsed the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement. These 4 economies are working together alongside Indigenous Peoples from each economy toward the development and implementation of a work plan that reflects Indigenous priorities and promotes the arrangement globally to encourage other economies’ participation. In 2022, the Indigenous Peoples Partnering for Climate initiative, which forms part of Canada’s international climate finance commitment, is being co-developed with Indigenous representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Circumpolar Council to ensure it puts Indigenous priorities at the forefront.
“We are in the continual process of learning how we can advance reconciliation in our work both here at home and abroad. Meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples is key to our work in diplomacy, trade and investment, security, international assistance and consular affairs. Global Affairs Canada wants to reaffirm its commitment today and every day to listen to and actively support First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.”
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
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