Call to Action # 45

We call upon the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians, to jointly develop with Aboriginal peoples a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation to be issued by the Crown. The proclamation would build on the Royal Proclamation of 1763 and the Treaty of Niagara of 1764, and reaffirm the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. The proclamation would include, but not be limited to, the following commitments:

  1. Repudiate concepts used to justify European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples such as the Doctrine of Discovery and terra nullius. 
  2. Adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.
  3. Renew or establish Treaty relationships based on principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, and shared responsibility for maintaining those relationships into the future.
  4. Reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders to ensure that Aboriginal peoples are full partners in Confederation, including the recognition and integration of Indigenous laws and legal traditions in negotiation and implementation processes involving Treaties, land claims, and other constructive agreements.

Why “Not Started”?

The official government response ignores the central tenets of this Call to Action: a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation, the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Treaty of Niagara of 1764 and the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples designated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission via Call to Action # 43 as the framework for reconciliation.

  1. No formal repudiation of Doctrine of Discovery or terra nullius
  2. Bill C-15 – An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act receives Royal Assent on June 21, 2021 and becomes law. UNDRIP clearly states 46 specific articles vs the generic, non-defined “renewing the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership”. UNDRIP is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of indigenous peoples. It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world and it elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of indigenous peoples. 
  3. Treaty relationships are addressed through “Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples but no indication of how or any discussion of integration with the National Action Plan
  4. Government “Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples” do not align with UNDRIP. The Federal government is currently reviewing all laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples but there is still no formal recognition and/or acknowledgement of aboriginal laws and legal tradition. Also, C2A # 42 introduces some ambiguity around Aboriginal justice systems that fall in coordination with” – federal and provincial governments”.

Current Status

Not Started

Call to Action
last updated

June 21, 2021

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AFN – Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery

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Moving Beyond the Indian Act

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