On May 4, 2021, the Canadian Council of Churches hosted a panel discussion with Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners, Dr. Marie Wilson, the Honourable Murray Sinclair and Chief Wilton Littlechild. The Commissioners were addressing Bill C-15 which received second reading in the Senate on April 11, 2021. Bill C-15 is an Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and states that “the Government of Canada must take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the declaration.”(i) Bill C-15 is now in the pre-study stage with the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.(ii)
Dr. Marie Wilson, Hon. Murray Sinclair and Chief Wilton Littlechild are asking communities of faith and / or individuals to write to the Senators studying this bill, and to voice support for its passing into law and its implementation. Doing so would help to ensure that Canadian law aligns with the UNDRIP.(iii)
The link to a letter template can be found here:
https://www.faithinthedeclaration.ca/take-action-1, along with instructions for writing and submitting your letter. We encourage individuals, Faith Leaders and congregations to take action as soon as possible.
To watch the panel discussion from May 4th, 2021, please visit:
For more information, please visit the website for Faith in the Declaration (a sub-group of the Canadian Council of Churches):
For Bill C-15 in its entirety, please visit:
And for an opinion piece on Bill C-15, please visit:
Together, let’s make our voices heard so we can continue to live into the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action; that we may also learn what it means to uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and so that as allies we may be part of the movement to put an end to the assimilation and colonization of our Indigenous neighbours.
Peace to you,
Bishop Michael Pryse
The Eastern Synod Circle for Reconciliation and Justice