The Salvation Army
Canada and Bermuda Territory
Office of the Territorial Commander
June 8, 2021
Senator Marc Gould, P.C.
Government Representative in the Senate
Senator Donald Plett
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate
Senator Scott Tannas
Leader of the Canadian Senators Group
Senator Jane Cordy
Leader of the Progressive Senate Group
Senator Yuen Woo
Facilitator, Independent Senators Group
On behalf of The Salvation Army in Canada, I join other faith communities and Indigenous leaders in writing to encourage you and your Senate colleagues to work diligently, and in a spirit of humility, to support the adoption of Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Like many other Canadians, we were shocked and saddened by the recent confirmation of the burial of the remains of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia and reminded of the painful consequences of failing to recognize fully the humanity, dignity and autonomy of Indigenous peoples.
In our work across Canada, we work with and alongside Indigenous people and communities, and we see both the devastating effects of past and present realities, and the incredible strength and resilience of Indigenous people and communities, and we recognize it is incumbent on all of us to support the journey toward reconciliation.
Although we do not discount the complexity of ensuring our laws are consistent with UNDRIP, we believe Bill C-15 is an important and necessary step toward healing, peace and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
For our part, in 2016, we committed to implement Call to Action #48 in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report and comply with the principles, norms and standards of UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and faith groups that were not church parties to the Settlement Agreement.
We have committed to the ongoing work of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and have begun that work by listening to the stories and voices of Indigenous leaders and community members within and outside of The Salvation Army, acknowledging the lands and presence of Indigenous peoples when we gather and emphasizing communication, consultation and genuine partnerships built on mutual respect.
We believe Bill C-15 presents an opportunity to advance reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and governments, and we encourage you to support its passage before Parliament rises for the summer.
(Signed electronically for)
Floyd J. Tidd