This month marks 20 years since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) put a new plan before governments and the public to renew the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian society. While the recommendations that mapped the changes possible quickly fell from view, neither the issues nor RCAP disappeared, as the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission outlined earlier this year.
On November 2-4, 2016, a National Forum on Reconciliation was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba to mark the 20th anniversary of RCAP under the banner of ‘Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future’. Among the key speakers to attend was federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. The following is the transcript of her speech delivered to the Elders, leaders, youth, and honoured guests who attended the forum.