National Council for Reconciliation

Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action 53 to 56.

Based on data provided March 2022.

  • Call to action 53 is based on data provided March 2022.

53. We call upon the Parliament of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Aboriginal Peoples, to enact legislation to establish a National Council for Reconciliation.

What's happening?

The creation of a National Council for Reconciliation (NCR) as a national Indigenous-led oversight body is a vital milestone to implementing the Calls to Action from the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and in particular ensures the full implementation of Calls to Action 53 to 56.

The NCR's core mandate would be to ensure the Government of Canada's accountability for reconciling the relationship with Indigenous Peoples and implementing the Calls to Action. Establishing the National Council for Reconciliation is one of the many actions that the Government of Canada is taking to advance reconciliation in Canada and it is a clear priority of Indigenous partners.

This builds off an announcement in December 2017, when the Prime Minister announced the creation of an Interim Board of Directors to make recommendations on the creation of a National Council for Reconciliation.

In June 2018, an Interim Board of Directors presented its final report to the Minister, which contained 20 specific recommendations relating to the name, vision, mission, mandate, structure, membership, funding, reporting, and the legislation of the National Council for Reconciliation.

The Interim Board recommended that the National Council for Reconciliation be an Indigenous-led, non-political organization mandated to monitor and report on progress towards reconciliation and the Calls to Action implementation.

The Interim Board recommended that a Transitional Committee be established to complete the task of establishing the National Council for Reconciliation.

Following their inaugural meeting on December 16, 2021, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that an Indigenous-led Transitional Committee had been established. The Committee has begun their work through discussions on the vision for the Council, identified key milestones and timelines, as well as a proposed engagement approach.

Recent budget investments

Budget 2019 announced a total of $126.5 million to establish the National Council for Reconciliation, which includes $1.5 million to support the first year of operations.

Recent progress

The transitional committee has been established to lead the engagement on the draft legal framework with Indigenous partners, provinces, territories and other key partners.

The Transitional Committee members that have been appointed by the Minister are former Truth and Reconciliation Commissioner Wilton Littlechild, Dr. Mike DeGagné, Edith Cloutier, Rosemary Cooper and Mitch Case.

Support is being provided to the Transitional Committee through the Reconciliation Secretariat at Crown Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The Transitional Committee members will be responsible for:

  • developing the Terms of Reference of the board for the National Council on Reconciliation;
  • formally constituting the National Council for Reconciliation under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act;
  • leading engagements; and
  • providing their recommendations on the draft legal framework before tabling in Parliament.

Next steps

The Transitional Committee will engage with various groups on the legislative framework for the National Council for Reconciliation, and will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister. The Committee will set up the Council's first Board of Directors, and establish the Council as an Indigenous-led, non-political organization, working to advance reconciliation.

54. We call upon the Government of Canada to provide multi-year funding for the National Council for Reconciliation to ensure that it has the financial, human, and technical resources required to conduct its work, including the endowment of a National Reconciliation Trust to advance the cause of reconciliation.

What's happening?

The Government of Canada announced in Budget 2019 that a total of $126.5 million was allocated to support the establishment of the National Council for Reconciliation. This includes $1.5 million to support the first year of the council's operations.

Next steps

Work is progressing on Call to Action 53. Once established, the funding for the National Council for Reconciliation will be transferred.

55. We call upon all levels of government to provide annual reports or any current data requested by the National Council for Reconciliation so that it can report on the progress towards reconciliation. The reports or data would include, but not be limited to:

  1. The number of Aboriginal children—including Métis and Inuit children—in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, the reasons for apprehension, and the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies.
  2. Comparative funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves.
  3. The educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non-Aboriginal people.
  4. Progress on closing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in a number of health indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.
  5. Progress on eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in youth custody over the next decade.
  6. Progress on reducing the rate of criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide and family violence victimization and other crimes.
  7. Progress on reducing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice and correctional systems.

What's happening?

The National Council for Reconciliation will be an independent, Indigenous-led, not-for-profit organization mandated to monitor and report on progress towards reconciliation and calls to action implementation.

Once the National Council is formally established, reporting requirements for all levels of government will be developed and identified to demonstrate progress towards reconciliation.

Next steps

Call to Action 55 is dependent on the full implementation of Calls to Action 53 and 54.

56. We call upon the Prime Minister of Canada to formally respond to the report of the National Council for Reconciliation by issuing an annual "State of Aboriginal Peoples" report, which would outline the government's plans for advancing the cause of reconciliation.

What's happening?

Recent progress

This State of Aboriginal Peoples report is important to ensure that the actions of the Government of Canada in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are transparent and accountable to Canadians. Investments are ongoing to improve and support Indigenous-led data.

Once the National Council for Reconciliation is established and reports to Parliament on reconciliation progress, the Prime Minister of Canada will be able to issue an annual State of Indigenous Peoples report.

Next steps

Call to Action 56 is dependent on the full implementation of Calls to Action 53, 54 and 55.

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