When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its 94 Calls to Action in June of 2015, only one Call had a specific deadline. Call to Action 48 set the particular date of March 31, 2016 for church, faith and inter-faith groups to issue a statement as to their implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The full text of the Call reads as follows:
We call upon the church parties to the Settlement Agreement, and all other faith groups and interfaith social justice groups in Canada who have not already done so, to formally adopt and comply with the principles, norms, and standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for reconciliation. This would include, but not be limited to, the following commitments:
i. Ensuring that their institutions, policies, programs, and practices comply with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
ii. Respecting Indigenous peoples’ right to self determination in spiritual matters, including the right to practise, develop, and teach their own spiritual and religious traditions, customs, and ceremonies, consistent with Article 12:1 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
iii. Engaging in ongoing public dialogue and actions to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
iv. Issuing a statement no later than March 31, 2016, from all religious denominations and faith groups, as to how they will implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Churches and faith groups are responding to this challenge in different ways, with statements by their specific community, and through ecumenical statements. These responses to TRC 48 share some common commitments, while also expressing the diversity of experiences with the UN Declaration of the different communities.
Response from individual churches, as they become available:
Anglican Church of Canada
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
Canadian Interfaith Conversation
Christian Reformed Churches in Canada
Citizens for Public Justice
Conférence des évêques catholiques du Canada
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
First United Church (Ottawa)
Holy Cross Fathers English Canada
Réseau Oecuménique Justice et Paix
The Presbyterian Church in Canada
The Salvation Army
The United Church of Canada [watch video] [texte en français]