Canada says that 85% of the TRC Calls to Action are either complete or well under way. Really?

On December 15, 2023 the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, issued the following statement to mark the eighth anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report:

What is the truth?

The federal government is accountable for 76 of the 94 Calls to Action – either alone or in partnership with the provinces and territories. As of January 1, 2024, according to Indigenous Watchdog, 11 of those Calls to Action are COMPLETE and 39 are IN PROGRESS. That represents 66% of the C2A!

That’s a long way from 85%.

in fact, of the 65 Calls to Action that the government claims are well under way – excluding the 11 that are complete – 26 Calls to Action or 40% are either NOT STARTED or STALLED. 

  • 20%: 13 C2A Not Started
  • 20%: 13 C2A Stalled

That’s not exactly “well under way”!

What is the evidence to support the above conclusions?

Calls to Action “NOT STARTED” = 13

2Federal, provincial and territory govts. have NOT collaborated to create annual reports
9Federal govt. has NOT published annual reports on First Nations education
10Federal govt. has NOT introduced Aboriginal education legislation
26Federal govt. continues to use Statute of Limitation defences in First Nations Land Claims
34Federal govt. has broadened this C2A to address mental health disorders NOT FASD
42Only BC has made commitments to Aboriginal Justice Systems NOT the federal govt.
45Federal govt. addresses subsets of the Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation NOT the substantive issues: Doctrine of Discovery, Treaties, Indigenous laws and legal traditions
47Federal – and provincial and territory govts. – still rely on Doctrine of Discovery to claim title to all of Canada to overide any Indigenous claims and allow expropriation of land at will
51Federal govt. still does NOT publish legal opinions.
52The Federal Govt. “Directive on Civil Litigation Involving Indigenous Peoples” does not directly address the issues in Call to Action 52 i-ii specific to Aboriginal title
55This can only be initiated once the National Council for Reconciliation has been established. Bill C-29 passed 3rd Reading in the Senate and is now with the House
56This can only be initiated once the National Council for Reconciliation has been established. Bill C-29 passed 3rd Reading in the Senate and is now with the House
89The federal government has been saying that further consultation is required since Jan. 2017 – 6 years ago!

CBC’s Beyond 94 also classifies 10 of the above 13 as also NOT STARTED (2, 9, 26, 42, 45, 51, 52, 55, 56, 89). In fact, CBC, as of June 22, 2023, classifies 18 of the C2A as NOT STARTED.

Calls to Action “STALLED” = 13

6Bill C-273 “An Act to amend the criminal code (Corinne’s Quest and the protection of children” has been in Second Reading in the House since May 19, 2022 – almost 2 years
8As of Dec. 13, 2023 the focus of the official government website “Delivering on Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action” continues to ignore off-reserve funding
12No updates to the Indigenous Early Learning and Childcare Framework since it was announced in September 2018.
14Inuit Tapariit Kanatami do not support Bill C-91 “The Indigenous Languages Act
17Completed by federal government – for this analysis – but remains STALLED in IW due to lack of action by some of the provinces and territories
18Governments have paid lip service to Indigenous health rights but structural and systemic racism and discrimination are still deeply entrenched in health policy and operations
19Federal government has NOT established measurable goals to identify and close health gaps in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians
25Federal government “reaffirmed” independence of RCMP through a “Mandate letter” and NOT through any official legislation or policy 
30The incarceration rates of Indigenous people have risen steadily from 24.4% in 2015 to 33% as of 2022 and almost 50% for Indigenous women.
35One new Healing Lodge was announced on July 26, 2019 – four years ago despite positive outcomes of Indigenous-operated Healing Lodges vs those run by the Government
62Federal government does NOT directly address other than broad-based funding investments for First Nation on-reserve education and First Nation Education agreements
78Federal government has NOT made a funding contribution of $10M for community-based research and programs
87The federal government limits their commitment primarily to the Tom Longboat awards in recognition of current athletes and ongoing operational support for Aboriginal Sports Circle
93The last update from the federal government was on June 4, 2021 which was itself an extension for the release of their “draft” version announced on July 24, 2017 – 6 years ago!

CBC’s Beyond 94 classifies 7 of the above C2A as “Projects Proposed” (6, 8, 18, 19, 25, 30, 35).

The individual landing pages for each of the 22 Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action “Themes” tracked by Indigenous Watchdog provide complete details on “Why?” each status is designated as it is.

See also the following post previously published in Indigenous Watchdog:

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