Petition the House of Commons to Honour the Treaties
West Hill United Church Calls on the Federal Government
to Honour the Treaties with Indigenous Peoples.
This past Sunday the congregation at West Hill United Church read the last of the ninety-four recommendations made to all levels of government by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reviewing the Residential Schools legacy in which The United Church of Canada was complicit. Our congregation has been reading one of the recommendations in its weekly Sunday gathering since September, 2015.
This morning Monday June 26th, West Hill United is hosting a Press Conference to publicly launch a petition calling on the Government of Canada to honour both the spirit and the letter of the treaty relationship it has with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and challenging it to take immediate action to address inequities between Indigenous and general population communities with respect to clean drinking water, education, housing, health and social services. The launch of the petition is scheduled to coincide with national celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday, a celebration undermined by the country’s troubled legacy with Indigenous Peoples.
A special emphasis in the petition is youth suicide prevention. Asked for assistance intervening in an Indigenous youth suicide pact last year, Health and Welfare Canada refused citing an “awkward” budget period. In the wake of that decision, three youth in the community have completed suicide. It is this failure to act which has instigated the petition action.
In 2013, our West Hill congregation collected 3000 signatures petitioning the House of Commons. The petition was read by Conservative MP Cornelious Chisu, then representing the Pickering-Scarborough East constituency in which WHUC is located. Few of the situations cited in the 2013 petition have been adequately addressed.
This morning, we invite the community to read and sign the Treaty Relationship Petition.
We have deliberately chosen to keep the petition in a paper format, rather than on-line, as we hope to engage our friends and neighbours in face-to-face dialogue about the issues the petitions raises. We encourage you to print several copies and share it widely to foster these important conversations!
Please read the cover Letter, then sign and share the petition widely.
If you would like updates as to the status of the petition and when it will be presented in the House of Commons, please let the office know. Click HERE to email.