Support actions to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has declared the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples the framework for reconciliation. Many Canadian churches and religious organizations have adopted the UN Declaration. Links to these statements are online.
The Government of Canada has committed to implementing the UN Declaration and has established a Working Group of Ministers to Review Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples.11 This resource is part of a campaign to draw attention to the need for the Government of Canada to implement the UN Declaration through a legislative framework which is needed to ensure that the work of harmonizing laws and policies continues beyond the term of the current government.
To date, two Private Members’ bills have been introduced in Parliament. Bill C-262 was introduced by Mr. Romeo Saganash, MP for Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou. If passed by Parliament, this bill would establish a legislative framework for implementation of the UN Declaration.12 Bill C-332 was introduced by Mr. Robert-Falcon Ouellette, MP for Winnipeg Centre.13 Due to the lottery system under which Private Members’ bills are selected for consideration in the House of Commons, Bill C-262 will come up for a vote much sooner than Bill C-332.
NOW IT’S TIME TO ACT!
How can you participate?
Pray. Thank God for the diversity of creation and all of God’s peoples. Confess our brokenness and frailty as we strive to be ambassadors of reconciliation (Corinthians 5:17-20). Ask for strength in the journey to reconciliation.
Advocate. Meet with your MP. Ask her or him to support the legislative implementation of the UN Declaration, using Bill C-262 as a minimum standard. Resources for meeting with your MP are included in this resource.
Educate. Your church can make a banner acknowledging the traditional territory the church is on, and supporting implementation of the UN Declaration. Hang it outside your church. Information on traditional Indigenous territories is online.
Why Make a Banner?
To demonstrate your church or community’s support for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
To show support for the rights of the Indigenous Peoples on whose traditional territory you live.
To show the Government of Canada that many Canadians deeply care about Indigenous rights and want to see the UN Declaration implemented.
Designing your banner
- Make a 2 ft/.61 metres x 4 ft/1.2 metres banner using vinyl or other water proof material.
- Decide on a design that will signal your church or community’s support.
- Use pictures, words or symbols… whatever shows your support for implementing the UN Declaration in legislation.
- Include your community or church’s name and the name of the traditional Indigenous territory on the banner.
- Invite people of all ages to participate.
When the banner is completed
• Plan a worship service or other community event to draw attention to Bill C-262 and your community’s support for implementation of the UN Declaration.
• Take a high resolution photo and send it to KAIROS at the following e-mail address UNdeclaration@kairoscanada.org. KAIROS is creating a digital mosaic with these photos that will be a public affirmation of support for the UN Declaration.
Suggested Agenda for a 1 hour banner making event
- Introduce yourself
- Open with prayer
- Bible Reading
Explain the purpose of the banner, and the role it will play in drawing attention to the UN Declaration in your church and community and to encourage people to meet with their MPs regarding the Government of Canada’s intent to implement the UN Declaration by making changes to make laws and policies affecting Indigenous Peoples. Explain that this is a campaign being spearheaded by KAIROS and several denominations that are not members of KAIROS including Mennonite Church Canada (Indigenous Relations) and Canadian Baptist Congregations. Explain that this action is in response to Call to Action 48, iii: Peoples of faith engaging in public dialogue and actions to support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Have copies of the UN Declaration available for people to take home. Printed copies of the UN Declaration may be ordered online.
If you are planning to meet with your MP, invite others to consider coming with you, or to write letters in support of Bill C-262 which you can hand deliver in your meeting.
- Banner making time
- Thanks for coming
- Closing prayer