Reconciliation Calls to Action (# 43 – 94) represent those Calls to Action that in the words of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report released in December, 2015 states:
In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (rcap) put forward a bold and comprehensive vision of reconciliation. The RCAP report observed that if Canada was to thrive in the future, the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown must be transformed. The report concluded that the policy of assimilation was a complete failure and that Canada must look to the historical Treaty relationship to establish a new relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, based on the principles of mutual recognition, mutual respect, sharing, and mutual responsibility.
The Royal Commission emphasized that Aboriginal peoples’ right to self-determination is essential to a robust upholding of Canada’s constitutional obligations to Aboriginal peoples and compliance with international human rights law. In other words, the rcap report saw reconciliation as placing a heavy onus on the Government of Canada to change its conduct and to see the validity of the Aboriginal perspective of how the relationship should be in the future.
In the years following the release of the rcap report, developing a national vision of reconciliation has proved to be challenging. In principle, Aboriginal peoples, governments, and the courts agree that reconciliation is needed. In practice, it has been difficult to create the conditions for reconciliation to flourish.
The TRC considers “reconciliation” to be an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships at all levels of Canadian society. The Commission therefore believes that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the appropriate framework for reconciliation in twenty-first-century Canada. Studying the Declaration with a view to identifying its impacts on current government laws, policy, and behaviour would enable Canada to develop a holistic vision of reconciliation that embraces all aspects of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians, and to set the standard for international achievement in its circle of hesitating nations.
Aboriginal peoples’ right to self-determination must be integrated into Canada’s constitutional and legal framework and civic institutions, in a manner consistent with the principles, norms, and standards of the Declaration. Aboriginal peoples in Canada have Aboriginal and Treaty rights. They have the right to access and revitalize their own laws and governance systems within their own communities and in their dealings with governments. They have a right to protect and revitalize their cultures, languages, and ways of life. They have the right to reparations for historical harms.