Kwe, good morning.
I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you, on this traditional unceded territory of my people, the Anishinabe. Thank you, meegwetch, for the invitation.
It is a privilege to share this forum with my colleagues, Mitch Case, Mike DeGagné and Rosemary Cooper, of the National Council for Reconciliation Transitional Committee. Our committee was created on December 16, 2021, by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the minister for his confidence, as well as the invaluable support provided by members of his team throughout our mandate. We also wish to acknowledge the contribution of Chief Wilton Littlechild, former commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, in the early stages of our committee's work.
To give a little background, I was also a member, along with my colleague Mike DeGagné, of the first interim board of directors established in December 2017, which also included Jean Taillet, a lawyer from the Métis nation, Max FineDay, representing the youth voice and referred by the Assembly of First Nations, Clint Davis from the Inuit nation and coming from the economic world, as well as Wilton Littlechild. At the time, our mandate was primarily to make recommendations to the then Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, in relation to the creating of the National Council for Reconciliation, specifically to see to the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action number 53 and 54.
In June 2018, at the completion of our work, which included an engagement session that brought together nearly 30 participants from a variety of backgrounds in Canada's indigenous and non-indigenous worlds, we documented 25 recommendations in a final report, which was submitted to the minister. This report was also sent to national indigenous organizations and made available to the general public on the website of the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.
The members of the current transitional committee began work in January 2022. Our mandate was to provide advice and guidance on the co-development of the legislative framework, to engage with indigenous and non-indigenous groups on the establishment of the National Council for Reconciliation, and finally to help support the establishment of the council's permanent board of directors.
During the course of the mandate, we conducted targeted interviews with indigenous and non-indigenous experts, including legal experts, data processing specialists, as well as experts in finance, governance and reconciliation. The feedback and advice we received enriched our thinking and work. This included advice in areas such as law, data access, information sharing, governance and accountability.
It is important to note that the work of our transitional committee was done as a continuation of the work conducted by the National Council for Reconciliation's first interim board of directors, and aligned with the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Today marks a significant milestone in our mandate, four years after the final report of the interim board of directors was submitted, and almost eight years after the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 calls to action. This is a pivotal, even historic, moment in this long journey to the creation of the National Council for Reconciliation.
Throughout our work on the co-development of the legislative framework for the establishment of the council, we have made it a point to keep at the heart of our process those who do not necessarily occupy the chairs around the big tables and discussion forums on reconciliation. As far as I am concerned, my daily work at the Val-d'Or Native Friendship Centre is to be at the side of those for whom reconciliation must make sense.
My experience of more than 30 years as executive director leads me to live in proximity and in relationship with the members of my community. Being in close contact with people on a daily basis, I get to know their stories and those of their families, to better understand their experiences, struggles, failures and successes. By being on the ground, I am able to understand what works—