Yes. I do agree with COVID being top of mind in terms of priorities that we need to look at for indigenous communities across Canada.
One of the most disheartening things that we've been seeing across Canada over the past few months is more heightened acts of racism and discrimination. It's really disheartening to talk about, but I think it's important. One of the things that Nelson Mandela once said was that education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.
We talked about treaty commissions when we met in the previous government with this committee. I'd like to put back on the table that we really need to look at treaty commissions. There is some great work going on across several provinces on anti-racism by creating awareness and creating the premise that we're all in this together and that we're all treaty people. These are things that are going on in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nova Scotia.
I'd really like to introduce a motion:
That pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), and given the evolving roles and responsibilities of Treaty Commissions across the provinces, that the committee undertake a study on how Treaty Commissions be utilized to educate and create awareness of the Indigenous history and rights in Canada. The new national treaty commissioner’s office be designed and established with Indigenous partners with the goals of creating rights awareness, supporting reconciliation efforts and implementing indigenous rights in Canada; that the witness list include representatives from Treaty Commissions in Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan, rights holders, academics, and officials from the Ministry of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; and that the committee report its findings to the House.
I think that would be a good starting point for discussion after we talk about COVID. These are consistent with what's being suggested in the calls to action, both for the missing and murdered indigenous women as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
I think it's consistent with what our government needs to look at in ensuring that we're taking the proper steps towards reconciliation.