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National Council for Reconciliation to be established

Senate changes to Bill C-29 were endorsed by the House of Commons.

A new law is set to establish a National Council for Reconciliation to monitor, report and make recommendations on advancing reconciliation in Canada.

Bill C-29 responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Actions 53 to 56.

Senator Michèle Audette, who sponsored the legislation in the Senate, said that the Calls to Action present a roadmap for reconciliation, which is a shared responsibility for all Canadians.

“For me, it’s also very important to remind ourselves that it’s to ensure that Indigenous people are respected, valued and, of course, included for today, tomorrow and the next generation to come,” she said.

“That is what Bill C-29 seeks to achieve by establishing a National Council for Reconciliation. This is one more positive step forward, one more thing Canada can do to make major strides along the shared path of reconciliation.”

The Standing Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples heard from more than 50 witnesses over the course of 12 meetings, and proposed several amendments, including:

  • Clarifying that the Council does not supplant Indigenous governing bodies or bilateral mechanisms established between those bodies and the Government of Canada;
  • Adjusting the Council’s mandate to emphasize its monitoring, evaluation, and reporting functions; and
  • Stating explicitly that the Council may have recourse to the Federal Court to help it gain access to desired information.

The House of Commons concurred with the Senate changes, and Bill C-29 received Royal Assent on April 30, 2024.

National Council for Reconciliation to be established