Ecumenical letter on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
The Most Reverend Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), has signed a joint ecumenical letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Canada and to the leaders of the parties in opposition in support of Private Member’s 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”. The Bill is sponsored by Mr. Romeo Saganash, an NDP Member of Parliament representing the Quebec riding of Abitibi – Baie-James – Nunavik – Eeyou. The other seven signatories represent The Anglican Church of Canada, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Mennonite Church Canada, The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and The United Church of Canada.
In response to Call to Action # 48 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which addresses the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the CCCB along with three other national Catholic organizations expressed support for and commitment to its principles in a document released in March 2016 together with a reflection on the so-called “Doctrine of Discovery” and the legal notion of terra nullius.