Take action now to support the adoption of Bill C-262, Romeo Saganash's private members bill which aims to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This Bill may come up for second reading in the House of Commons as early as mid-October 2017.As you know, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should be the Framework for Reconciliation in Canada. 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 provides for such a legislative framework. It calls for a national implementation strategy to be developed in full partnership with Indigenous peoples, and a 20-year schedule of reporting to Parliament. 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.
1. 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.
2. Write a postcard to your MP with a short, simple message urging them to support Bill C-262. See these 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.
3. 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 theParliament of Canada site. Remember that letters to parliamentary addresses are postage-free.
4. 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."