All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
A central theme of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is that reconciliation between non-Indigenous and Indigenous peoples in Canada requires rejecting our current colonial model of relationship and replacing it with one rooted in mutuality, equity, and respect. Key to this is the adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The federal government has recently issued a set of ten principles respecting the Government of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. These principles rely heavily on the UN Declaration and strongly signal an intent towards a new relationship. However, without a legislative framework, they remain words on paper.
Bill C-262, a private member’s bill that is expected to come up for second reading in October 2017, offers that legislative framework. The bill calls for a national implementation strategy to be developed in full partnership with Indigenous peoples, and a 20-year schedule of reporting to Parliament. The Bill thus establishes a binding framework for reconciliation beyond the life of the current government, and a method of transparency and accountability to Parliament and to Canada.
Moderator Jordan Cantwell has written to Prime Minister Trudeau acknowledging The United Church of Canada’s appreciation of the principles, and asking his government to support Bill C-262 when it comes up for second reading.
She hopes that you will join her in this action. There are a number of ways you can participate, depending on how much time you have available.
- Pray that the government will continue to listen to the voices of all who seek reconciliation, and that it will work in partnership with Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to build genuine and lasting change in our country.
- Write a postcard to your MP with a short, simple message urging them to support Bill C-262. See Downloads below for tips and sample messages that you can write on a postcard.
- Host a postcard-writing event after church so that everyone in your congregation has the opportunity to contact your MP. See Downloads below for tips on how to organize an event.
- Write a letter to your own MP, copying the Prime Minister, Minister of Justice Judy Wilson-Raybould, and Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett. You can use the Moderator’s letter for inspiration, but we suggest you use your own language. Contact information for your MP, the Prime Minister, and Ministers Wilson-Raybould and Bennett can be found on the Parliament of Canada site. Remember that letters to parliamentary addresses are postage-free.
- Arrange a meeting or a phone call with your MP to discuss this issue. Tips on meeting or talking with your MP on this specific issue are available in the KAIROS resource “Let Justice Roll," available under Downloads, below.
For more information contact: