CPJ writes to Trudeau in support of C-262, UNDRIP

CPJ wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau to commend his decision to support Bill C-262, a private member's bill that will ensure the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). By supporting the adoption of Bill C-262 – and subsequently following up with implementation – the Government of Canada can fulfill its commitment to realize the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and “renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.”

In March 2016, CPJ issued a statement in compliance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Recommendation #48, stating our full support of UNDRIP.

Letter

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

I am writing today, on behalf of Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), to commend your government’s decision to support Bill C-262, “An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

CPJ is a national organization of members inspired by faith to act for justice in Canadian public policy. We are dedicated to promoting public justice in Canada, by shaping key public policy debates through research and analysis, publishing, and public dialogue. CPJ supports policies which reflect God’s call for love, justice, and the flourishing of creation.

On March 2016, our organization issued a statement in compliance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Recommendation #48, stating our full support of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Since then, CPJ has undertaken two studies of all our program areas with a view to discerning how our work might more fully resound with the recommendations of the TRC, in the framework of the UNDRIP, and how our current efforts could enhance reconciliation efforts underway throughout Canadian society – especially among people of faith.

Our work on poverty in Canada and climate change has often led us into relationships with Indigenous peoples and organizations, as their struggles are compounded by both issues. It is abundantly clear that the adoption and full implementation of the UN Declaration is an issue of dignity, justice, and human rights.

Our research confirms that, with a poverty rate of 23.6%, Indigenous peoples in Canada are overrepresented among those living in poverty.

With warming permafrost and diminishing summer sea ice, we know that those living in the far north are also disproportionately impacted by climate change. And, many First Nations’ territories are vulnerable to damage from new pipelines and resource extraction developments.

By supporting the adoption of Bill C-262 – and subsequently following up with implementation – the Government of Canada can fulfill its commitment to realize the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and “renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples.”

We are encouraged by your government’s stated intention to support this vital piece of legislation. Going forward, we pledge to work with others in Canadian faith communities to continue to mobilize popular support for full implementation of the United Nation’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Sincerely,

(Rev.) James C. Dekker
Chair of the Board

 

c.c.       Hon. Mary Ann Mihychuk, MP

            Cathy McLeod, MP

            Romeo Saganash, MP

            Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MP

            Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, MP

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