OTTAWA – NEWS – The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) is urging Canadian Senators to take immediate action and ensure the inclusion of all Indigenous Peoples in the planned Reconciliation Council, established under Bill C-29. This oversight body, a “Call to Action” from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 2015 report, must include urban Indigenous voices and CAP to achieve genuine reconciliation.
“Reconciliation must start with inclusion,” emphasizes CAP National Chief Elmer St. Pierre. “Despite the existence of five National Indigenous Organizations, the Liberal Government seems to be engaging in partisan politics by excluding CAP and the voices of urban Indigenous peoples.”
The Reconciliation Council, a key component of Bill C-29 introduced by the Liberals last year, is intended to function as a not-for-profit corporation comprising nine to thirteen directors. Earlier this year, opposition members proposed an amendment to include CAP and its voices in the council. Unfortunately, the proposed amendment was callously rejected by Liberal MPs.
“The government’s attempt to divide and conquer by selectively recognizing certain Indigenous groups is deeply concerning,” states CAP National Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin. “Reconciliation cannot be confined to reserves alone, as the majority of Indigenous peoples now reside in urban and rural areas, demanding their voices to be heard.”
Senators now have a crucial opportunity to rectify the exclusionary approach and put forward an amendment that would allow hundreds of thousands of Indigenous voices to actively participate in the reconciliation process. CAP remains optimistic that through sober-second thought, Senators will recognize the importance of inclusive representation and ensure the inclusion of all Indigenous Peoples.
CAP calls on all Canadians to join in supporting this crucial initiative for reconciliation, emphasizing the need for unity and inclusivity in building a more equitable and just society for all Indigenous Peoples.