The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was organized by the parties to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in response to the charges of abuse and other ill effects for First Nations children that resulted from the Indian residential school legacy. The 4200-page final report was released on December 18, 2015.
In the report’s 94 Calls to Action, several documents and principles are mentioned.
- The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, and education. It emphasizes the right to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions. Its 43 articles encourage countries to work alongside indigenous peoples to solve issues through their full and effective participation in all matters that concern them and their right to remain distinct.
- The United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles set out best practices on the preservation and access to archives bearing witness to human rights violations. These principles include the right to know, the right to justice, the right to reparation, and the guarantee of non-recurrence.
- Jordan's Principle is a child-first principle to resolve jurisdictional disputes regarding payment for government services provided to First Nations children. It recommends that the government agency of first contact pay for services normally available to non-Aboriginal children while the jurisdictional dispute is resolved. Jordon was a First Nations child who was ready to be discharged from hospital to his home reserve 600km away, but had to wait for the provincial and federal governments to resolve who was paying for the required home care. Two and a half years later, Jordan died in hospital, having never returned home.
- Section 43 of the Criminal Code of Canada protects schoolteachers, parents, and guardians from criminal prosecution for minor physical correction (e.g. spanking).
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has concluded and all documents and findings have been transferred to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
January 26, 2016 -Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling of discrimination by the Government of Canada against on-reserve Aboriginal children.
March 19, 2010 - Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland. An apology to the Irish victims of abuse.