Government Introduces legislation to establish National Council for Reconciliation

Ottawa — Unceded Traditional Territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg Nation – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, introduced Bill C-29, National Council for Reconciliation Act, in Parliament.

In their Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) called upon the Parliament of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, to enact legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation. If passed, the Bill tabled today would enable creation of the National Council for Reconciliation to fulfill Call to Action 53. The proposed legislation would also respond to Call to Action 54, which has previously been supported through a commitment of $126.5 million in 2019 Budget for the establishment of the Council. The Bill would also lay the foundation to address Calls to Action 55 and 56.

The Government of Canada acknowledges all the work that has been done by the TRC, the Interim Board for the National Council for Reconciliation, and, most recently, the Transitional Committee that was created in December 2021 to advance the work that has led to this Bill.

As envisioned by the TRC, an Indigenous-led, independent and permanent National Council for Reconciliation would strive to ensure that long-term progress on reconciliation in Canada is supported and sustained through commitment to reconciliation and accountability. The Council would monitor, evaluate and report on reconciliation efforts, including the implementation of the Calls to Action, as well as be a catalyst for innovative thought, dialogue and action. The Council would also engage with Canadians to create a better understanding of reconciliation, and find common ground to build a better, stronger future for everyone.

The Government of Canada recognizes that the harmful legacy of residential schools continues to affect Survivors, their families and Indigenous communities. The introduction of Bill C-29 demonstrates the Government’s commitment to advancing reconciliation and to renewing the relationship with Indigenous Peoples. This legislation also aligns with the Government’s commitment to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.