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Martha Justice News

BILL C-15

The Sisters of St. Martha, through the UN Federation NGO Liaison, pushed for years for UNDRIP to be legislated and implemented. UNDRIP was adopted by the UN Security Council in 2007, with Canada initially opposing it. Following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Final Report and Calls to Action, Canada adopted UNDRIP in 2015.

Faith communities pushed hard to make sure that Bill C-15 did not get blocked in the Senate, as happened in 2019 with MP Romeo Saganash’s private member’s bill.

Campaigns and educational webinars took place through the winter and spring to build support for the bill. These involved groups like Faith in the Declaration, Joint Ecological Ministry, Kairos, and others, and were guided by Indigenous leaders, including Romeo Saganash, former TRC Chairs, Hon. Murry Sinclair and Dr. Marie Wilson, UNDRIP contributor Chief Wilton Littlechild, and others.

An open letter signed by these and other Indigenous leaders, states:

“This bill … is a unique opportunity to advance our rights and confront the harms to our people created by colonialism, racism and other forms of discrimination. This is what we fought for.”

We celebrate the passing of this legislation and hope it fulfills the needed implementation of Indigenous rights in Canada.

(This article appeared in OLaM #5 newsletter in July 2021)

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