Truth and Reconciliation chair urges Canada to adopt UN declaration on Indigenous Peoples

The head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says his panel's much-anticipated final report on Tuesday will recommend that the Canadian government implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Justice Murray Sinclair reveals some report recommendations in CBC interview ahead of Tuesday release

The road to reconciliation

7 years ago
Duration 6:58
CBC's Duncan McCue reports on the reconciliation process with aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians

Truth and Reconciliation Commission chair Murray Sinclair says his panel's much-anticipated final report on Tuesday will recommend that the Canadian government implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In an interview with CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge on Monday's edition of The National, Sinclair said the UN's declaration is the starting point for reconciliation.

The UN declaration outlines the minimum human rights standards for indigenous people around the world and their rights to self-determination.

Canada didn't sign the document when it was accepted by the UN in 2007, but Sinclair says the federal government has since supported it.

"They did adopt it as an aspirational document, and that's their words. And we agree with that," he said.

"It should be an aspirational document. So what we're saying to them is, 'Aspire to it.'"

Education 'the key to reconciliation'

Tuesday's report by the commission comes after six years of testimony from more than 7,000 witnesses about their residential school experiences, which often included emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

Justice Murray Sinclair, chair for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, tells CBC News chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge that the UN declaration on indigenous people 'should be an aspirational document' for the Canadian government. (CBC)

The report calls the UN's declaration the "framework for reconciliation." It recommends all levels of government to fully adopt and implement the declaration and asks the federal government to create a plan to ensure the declaration's goals are accomplished.

The commission's full report and recommendations will be released Tuesday morning at 11 a.m. ET.

Tuesday's report also includes several recommendations for a royal proclamation to be issued by the Crown.

In Monday's interview, Sinclair called the proclamation "the way to go."

The report says the proclamation would reaffirm the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and the Crown.

The commission demands it include commitments to implement the UN charter, renew treaty establishments and change constitutional and legal orders to make Aboriginal Peoples full-fledged partners in Confederation.

CBC News has followed the embargo process put in place by the commission ahead of the report's release on Tuesday. It was given this specific section of the report by an independent source.

Murray Sinclair interview

8 years ago
Duration 12:16
CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge talks with Justice Murray Sinclair, who heads the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Sinclair also revealed that the report's recommendations aren't just directed at the federal government. He says the recommendations also target business leaders and municipal and provincial governments, among others.

Another key recommendation in Tuesday's report that Sinclair stressed in the interview with Mansbridge is the use of education.

"Education is what got us into this mess — the use of education at least in terms of residential schools — but education is the key to reconciliation," he said.

"We need to look at the way we are educating children. That's why we say that this is not an aboriginal problem. It's a Canadian problem."