Statement by Minister Anandasangaree, Minister Vandal and Minister Hajdu on the Eighth Anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report


Ottawa, Ontario, Unceded Algonquin Traditional Territory – December 15, 2023 – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, issued the following statement to mark the eighth anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report:

“Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which included 94 Calls to Action. The Calls to Action, which were drawn directly from the testimony and stories of Survivors, provided the basis for the beginning of a new dialogue and relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

The Government of Canada is working to fully implement the Calls to Action. We are taking steps toward nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, and government-to-government relationships to support Indigenous Peoples to achieve self-determination.

Truth must come before reconciliation. We are reminded of this fact as communities across the country continue the painful work at former residential schools. Between 1867 and 1998, over 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were taken from their families and communities. They were forced to attend residential schools, where many were subjected to horrific abuse. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated that more than 4,100 children never came home from residential schools. Survivors, families, and communities carry the trauma and grief of their loss through generations. The Calls to Action included a key focus on addressing the legacy of residential schools. To this end, the Government of Canada has worked with partners to co-develop policies and legislation and has made significant investments in child welfare, education, Indigenous languages and health.

Call to Action 43 called on governments to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) as the framework for reconciliation, while Call to Action 44 urged the Government of Canada to develop a national action plan, strategies, and other concrete measures to achieve the goals of the UN Declaration. In 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act came into force, providing a historic opportunity to advance the implementation of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Earlier this year, the federal government released an Action Plan to achieve the objectives of the UN Declaration. Developed in consultation and cooperation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, the Action Plan provides a roadmap of measures Canada will take in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to work toward reconciliation. The implementation of the UN Declaration Act and the Action Plan will help break down barriers, combat systemic racism and discrimination, close socio-economic gaps, and promote greater equality and prosperity for Indigenous Peoples.

To ensure truth and justice for the thousands of children whose lives were taken in residential schools, in 2022, Canada appointed Kimberly Murray as an Independent Special Interlocutor for Missing Children and Unmarked Graves and Burial Sites associated with Indian Residential Schools. Working closely with Survivors, families, and communities, the Special Interlocutor will recommend a federal legal framework to ensure respectful and culturally appropriate treatment of unmarked graves and burial sites.

To date, over 85% of the Calls to Action involving the Government of Canada are now completed or well underway. We are making progress to change the colonial laws, policies, and institutions that continue to exist in many parts of our society.

As we advance this work, we will continue to honour Survivors and their families. We are fully committed to implementing all of the Calls to Action, and doing so with Indigenous Peoples in a way that will build respect and earn trust.”

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Matthieu Perrotin
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Kyle Allen
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, and the Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

Simon Ross
Director of Communications and Issues Management
Office of the Minister of Indigenous Services

CIRNAC Media Relations:

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

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