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The National Indigenous Council of The United Church of Canada has written to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs as it meets to review Bill C-15: An act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Council expressed its concern about the breadth and depth of community consultation in drafting the bill and noted that “when we make decisions we take the time necessary to seek the wisdom and counsel of our communities.” It concluded that it “cannot at this time make an informed statement either in support of or against Bill C-15.” Other faith communities have signaled their support for the Bill.

Citing its ongoing commitment to a new relationship, the National Indigenous Council closed its brief by stating: “We are Indigenous Peoples and Nations, not a single group nor a select organization. We must all be present in the process of consultation and cooperation that the Bill foresees. We hope that you will respect our ways of decision-making.”

Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld