The UN Declaration is the minimum standard to ensure the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous people all over the world. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) has said the UN Declaration is the framework for reconciliation. Call to Action #43 asks municipal, provincial and federal governments to adopt and implement the UN Declaration. Private Member’s Bill C-262 outlines a framework for implementing the UN Declaration into Canadian legislation. Bill C-262 is scheduled for second reading on December 4, 2017.
Let Justice Roll is an ecumenical campaign to communicate church support of the UN Declaration. Three ways you can get involved are:
- Meet with your Member of Parliament to discuss the UN Declaration. Members of Parliament will be in their constituencies during the week of November 13–17.
- Make a banner with your congregation to support Indigenous rights.
- Write to the Honourable Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous-Crown Relations and Northern Affairs) to show your support for implementing the UN Declaration. Justice Ministries has written a template letter that you may adapt.
Justice Ministries’ staff are happy to assist you to plan your response. Contact Carragh Erhardt, Healing and Reconciliation Program Assistant at cerhardt [at] presbyterian [dot] ca or 1-800-619-7301 ext. 278.
What is the Government of Canada Doing?
In February 2017, the Government of Canada announced the creation of the Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples. One of the responsibilities of the Working Group is to ensure that the Crown is adhering to international human rights standards, which includes the UN Declaration. In July, the Working Group released its principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. The Government of Canada is drafting legislation that is intended to implement the UN Declaration into Canadian law.