Native Women's Association Canada Wants Nomination of Board Member to Reconciliation Council to Be Legislated; Calls for Rewrite of Bill C-29
October 18, 2022
OTTAWA – The President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Carol McBride, appeared today before the House of Common’s Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN) to demand that her organization be given a say in the composition of a new council on reconciliation.
INAN is studying Bill C-29, the National Council for Reconciliation Act. That legislation responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (TRC) Calls to Action numbers 53 through 56 that relate to the creation of a National Council for Reconciliation, an independent oversight body that would report on the progress towards reconciliation.
The bill specifies that the National Council for Reconciliation (NCR) will include a board of directors, and that three of the National Indigenous Organizations -- the Assembly of First Nations, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council –- will each be asked to nominate one director. NWAC, however, is not part of the nomination process, as the legislation is currently worded.
“C-29 is an important bill, and one which we have eagerly awaited, because it is about implementation of the 94 Calls to Action. NWAC was disheartened to be excluded from the process of nominating a director on the NCR,” said President McBride.
This bill is intended to establish the Council as an Indigenous-led organization.
Excluding NWAC, one of the largest National Indigenous Organizations in Canada, from the implementation of truth and reconciliation is a significant rebuff of the organization that is nationally the recognized as an expert on matters related to Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse, Two-Spirit, and transgender people.
NWAC is asking for an amendment to Bill C-29 to secure that a board of director will be nominated by NWAC. This will ensure inclusivity. This will also ensure that the lived experiences and voices of Indigenous women, girls, gender-diverse, Two-Spirit, and transgender people are not lost in the implementation of the 94 Calls to Action.