Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Advocates for Meaningful Reconciliation Efforts in Canada
June 5, 2023
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) is committed to advancing reconciliation efforts in Canada. Recently, AMC participated in the Standing Senate Committee on Indigenous Peoples’ study of Bill C-29, an Act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation.
Grand Chief Cathy Merrick spoke before the Standing Senate Committee about the importance of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action. The AMC supports the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Calls to Action. Grand Chief Cathy Merrick expressed disappointment, however, with the approach taken by Bill C-29 and called upon the federal government to do better in its efforts toward reconciliation with First Nations citizens.
“We must work together towards a better future for all Indigenous peoples,” Grand Chief Cathy Merrick said in her opening remarks to the committee. “Our Knowledge Keepers and our Elders should lead this whole process. They guide us in terms of the work we want to do in our respective regions. I strongly believe in the terms of reconciliation and that our people should take the lead in this work. We will always go back to our Knowledge Keepers and our Elders. They are our teachers. They are the ones who instill that history within our beings as to how we move forward. I’m very strong in terms of that, and I’m very strong in terms of speaking to the land for reconciliation. This is a nation-to-nation relationship. It’s between Indigenous people and the representatives of the Crown. I strongly believe it should be Indigenous-led and comprise of First Nations people.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action provide a roadmap for meaningful reconciliation efforts in Canada. It is up to governments, including First Nations governments, and other organizations to take action on these recommendations. The AMC will continue to participate in standing committees and other engagement efforts to demonstrate its commitment to advancing reconciliation efforts and advocating for better approaches toward reconciliation.
Grand Chief Cathy Merrick and the AMC have five main concerns regarding this bill and suggested the following amendments that could address them:
- The national council should be independent of government influence.
- The national council should have a mandate to monitor and evaluate progress on implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
- The national council should have adequate funding for its mandate.
- The national council should include representation from First Nations across Canada.
- The national council should prioritize addressing issues related to residential schools.
The AMC is dedicated to ensuring that First Nations voices in Manitoba are heard and respected. By working together towards meaningful reconciliation efforts and addressing the concerns outlined by Grand Chief Merrick, we can create a better future for all First Nations citizens in Canada.
For more information, please contact:
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
About the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs
The AMC was formed in 1988 by the Chiefs in Manitoba to advocate on issues that commonly affect First Nations in Manitoba. AMC is an authorized representative of 62 of the 63 First Nations in Manitoba with a total of more than 151,000 First Nation citizens in the province, accounting for approximately 12 percent of the provincial population. AMC represents a diversity of Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Nehetho / Ininew (Cree), Anishininew (Ojibwe-Cree), Denesuline (Dene) and Dakota Oyate (Dakota) people.