December 13, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario
Bill C-374, is the first Private Member’s Bill tabled by MP John Aldag
Liberal MP John Aldag’s legislation, C-374, had its first hour of debate in the House of Commons on Dec. 13. The legislation is seeking to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include three new representatives on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada; one each for
the First Nations, Metis and Inuit.
Aldag’s Private Member’s Bill, titled C-374, An Act to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (composition of the Board), was tabled on Oct. 18. “I believe it is necessary to increasingly break down the walls of exclusion which have historically existed between the Federal Government and Indigenous peoples in Canada.” said Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City “
Currently, Section 4(d) of the Historic Sites and Monuments Act provides one representative from each province and territory, and while there is an Indigenous Affairs and Cultural Affairs Directorate, there is no formal representation of Indigenous peoples, organizations or Governments on the Board.
“It is my belief that the restriction of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to only
recognize provinces and territories within our Canadian system is an outdated legacy of Canada’s
historic mistreatment and structural exclusion of Indigenous peoples to full acknowledgement in
Canadian society.” said Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City.
This bill is a direct result of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action Number 79-1, which calls upon the federal government to amend the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nation, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Board and its Secretariat.
“The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is an eager supporter of Bill C-374. As stated by Senator Murray Sinclair at the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation, the TRC has described the mountain, the calls to action issued by the TRC represent the path to the top. The Calls to Action represent the synthesis of one of the largest engagement sessions with indigenous peoples in the history of the country. We must understand these calls as the articulation of the collective voices of thousands upon thousands of Survivors, families and communities across the Country.
Central in the work of reconciliation is this is the recognition that Canada, as a nation, has not accurately or effectively portrayed the perspectives of indigenous peoples in the telling of our collective history. So long as this continues, Canadians and visitors to this country will be prevented from knowing not only who we were, but will be denied an understanding of what we can become.
Including indigenous perspectives and histories in commemorating national historic sites is paramount. Ensuring there is a clear strategy to commemorate and honour community perspectives on the residential schools is in our national interest.
Through these collective steps, we have the potential to tell a much more accurate, richer and honest story of who we are and where we are going.
For these, and many other reasons, we offer our full support for this bill and encourage all
parliamentarians to do the same.”
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
For more information:
Office of John Aldag, Member of Parliament