(Toronto, ON, December 15, 2020) On December 15, 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its Final Report, which documented Canada’s residential schools legacy and the experience and resilience of those affected by it. To mark the fifth anniversary of the release, Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald is calling on all levels of government to work together and to advance reconciliation by addressing the institutionalized inequities within First Nations communities.
“When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) Final Report was released on December 15, 2015, the Government of Canada committed to working in full partnership with First Nations communities across the country, to fully implement the 94 Calls to Action and begin implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald.
“As we mark the fifth anniversary of the release of the TRC Final Report, we are reminded that as of December 2020, only ten of the Calls to Action have been completed so far, despite significant commitments from the federal government, with 23 projects underway and 38 proposed, with 23 left yet to be addressed.
For example, the adoption and full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into Canadian legislation is Call to Action #43. The proposed legislation, now known as Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, remains incomplete due to a lack of proper and fulsome engagement and does not reflect the unique circumstances of many First Nations communities in Ontario or protect the sovereignty of these communities, which has resulted in further division of support for this Bill.
The COVID-19 crisis has only highlighted the rising inequalities, deep-rooted discrimination and systemic gaps within First Nations communities, and today, I am calling for accountability. To truly build back better, long-term solutions are required. All levels of government and Indigenous and non-Indigenous people must work in partnership with First Nations through recognition of rights, respect and cooperation.
As the country rebuilds its economy, Canada has an opportunity to create positive change by overhauling the current policies and programs that were put in place to harm First Nations across the country. By developing a concrete action plan for implementation that aligns with international human rights standards and procedures through proper consultation, we can build back a world where all people are safe, protected and respected.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of the TRC’s Final Report, I’m encouraging all to learn more and make the personal commitment to creating space for the voices and perspectives of those who are often left behind.”
To learn more, read Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: http://www.trc.ca/about-us/trc-findings.html
Ontario Regional Chief, RoseAnne Archibald
The Chiefs of Ontario is a political forum and a secretariat for collective decision making, action, and advocacy for the 133 First Nation communities located within the boundaries of the province of Ontario, Canada. Follow Chiefs of Ontario on Facebook or Twitter @ChiefsOfOntario.
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