Our story – Learning from Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about Bill C-15 and how to support it.

We recently attended a webinar organized by Faith in the Declaration, a coalition of Canadian faith houses and faith organizations working together to support the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The panelists were former Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners – Chancellor Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson and Chief Willy Littlechild. They discussed the relationship of the TRC Calls for Action (specifically #48) and Bill C-15 (government bill re: UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation. The recording is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9D9ZBZeeqRQ 

We listened and learned about:

We noted the United Church of Canada’s (UCC) responses to the TRC Call of Action #8 and UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation.

  • In June 2015, the churches that are parties to the Settlement Agreement (Anglican, Presbyterian, United, and a number of Roman Catholic entities) made a joint statement in response to the Calls to Action. united-church.ca/social- action/justice-initiatives/truth-and-reconciliation-commission.
  • On March 30, 2016, the UCC joined the broader ecumenical community in announcing a collective intention to implement the principles, norms, and standards of UNDRIP as the framework for reconciliation (TRC Call for Action #48) and on March 31, 206 issued its own statement


  • In March 2019, the UCC participated in an ecumenical delegation to discuss Bill C-262 with Senators

We heard:

  • The urgency for Senate to support this non-partisan bill prior to its June 30, 2021 recession. https://www.parl.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&billId=11007812
  • Some concern that Bill C-15 hasn’t engaged sufficient Indigenous community consultation and that there is the omission of reference to getting rid of the Indian Act and the Doctrine of Discovery.

We discerned and concluded:

We hope you will join us in Canada’s reconciliation journey by writing to both the Senate and Members of Parliament.

Together we can make a difference!

In peace and reconciliation,

Heather Clarke and Margot Pritchard

Members of Shaughnessy Heights United Church and its Reconciliation Matters Team

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