Statement by UNE National President Kevin King following the Adoption of Bill C-15 and Bill C-8

June 23, 2021

On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, two important bills received Royal Assent. Bill C-15, titled United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, and Bill C-8.

The first piece of legislation “provides that the Government of Canada must take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and must prepare and implement an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.”

The second piece of legislation “amends the Citizenship Act to include, in the Oath or Affirmation of Citizenship, a solemn promise to respect the Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, in order to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s call to action number 94.”

We wish to acknowledge the passage of these bills as part of the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s recommendations. We also acknowledge remembrance of centuries of hostilities, persecution, and attempted assimilation of Indigenous peoples in Canada through colonization.

We condemn unequivocally the resistance and angst portrayed by many Conservative federal politicians regarding the adoption of Bill C-15. These matters took too long to be addressed, but these are necessary steps toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and towards building a society that enhances Indigenous-government relations.

Respectfully and in Solidarity,

Kevin King
UNE National President