"We hope that you will respect our ways of decision-making.”

Photo of an eagle feather held up during ceremonies marking the release of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women report in Gatineau,  June 3, 2019
Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Published On: April 16, 2021

The National Indigenous Council of The United Church of Canada has written to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs as it meets to review Bill C-15: An act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Council expressed its concern about the breadth and depth of community consultation in drafting the bill about the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and noted that, “When we make decisions we take the time necessary to seek the wisdom and counsel of our communities.”

“Because of our own inability to consult within our communities,” the Council concluded, “we have decided that we as the National Indigenous Council of the United Church cannot at this time make an informed statement either in support of or against Bill C-15.” Other faith communities have signalled their support for the Bill.

Citing its ongoing commitment to a new relationship, the National Indigenous Council closed its brief by stating: “We are Indigenous Peoples and Nations, not a single group nor a select organization. We must all be present in the process of consultation and cooperation that the Bill foresees. We hope that you will respect our ways of decision-making.”

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National Indigenous Council Brief On Bill C-15 581.9 KB PDF