Call to Action # 43: Actions and Commitments

Indigenous Responses to Bill C-15 - UNDRIP

December 8, 2020

AFN Annual General meeting fails to adopt UNDRIP

Toronto Star ( – The Assembly of First Nations Annual General Meeting failed to adopt “Resolution 86/2019 Support for Federal Legislation to Create a Framework to Implement the UN Declaration

A number of objections were raised:

  • too little time allotted in the debate to address the many concerns raised about Bill C-15
  • Not enough substantive discussions with Indigenous leadership by the federal government 
  • three-year timeframe to develop a National Action Plan and Strategy is too long
  • Exclusion of the term racism from the Bill within the context of discrimination
  • Concerns around Canada continuing to veto inherent rights
  • The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians affirmed their sovereignty and right to self-determination, and had refused to be engaged in reviewing Bill C-15.
  • Recognition of Indigenous laws, customs and traditions
  • Items identified in the Preamble should have been embedded in the Bill

Chief Judy Wilson said a resolution supporting implementation of UNDRIP should be brought back for consideration to the chiefs’ assembly in July 2021.

July 11, 2022

AL, BC, Fed. Govt., MB, NB, NL, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

AFN Calls For First Ministers Meeting on UNDRIP at Council of The Federation

Assembly of First Nations: BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee issued the following statement after a meeting with provincial and territorial premiers today in advance of the Council of the Federation meeting taking place later today in Victoria, BC.

“It is important for First Nations to meet with premiers on priorities and initiatives that impact our people and to set direction on how we must work together to ensure nothing is done for us without us,” said AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee who represented AFN at the meeting of National Indigenous leaders and premiers today.

“Today I underscored the importance of affirming and implementing rights, title and jurisdiction as a foundation for restoring the rightful relationship between First Nations and Canada, including provinces,” said Regional Chief Teegee.  “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples contains the standards and principles that are the foundation of an ethical and predictable relationship between all of us. Including First Nations rights holders and their delegated representatives as equal partners in all decisions affecting them is the only way forward.  Today I called for a First Ministers Meeting to take place within the next year to be focused on implementing the UN Declaration throughout Canada at all levels of government. The Assembly of First Nations will continue to push for full inclusion and participation at the Council of the Federation so that First Nations priorities are addressed along with all priorities, rather than a side or after thought.”

The meeting with National Indigenous leaders will be followed by two days of meetings with the Premiers. The 2022 COF will focus on health. The 2023 Council of the Federation will be chaired by the premier of Manitoba.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.


For more information please contact:

Lori Kittelberg
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
604-340-3117 (mobile)

Kelly Reid
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-292-0857 (mobile)

Paige Hanson
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-402-4349 (mobile)

June 16, 2021

AFN-QL submits concerns around lack of Québec support for UNDRIP

Let us recall that the AFNQL submitted proposed amendments that it deemed reasonable to the various committees in charge of studying Bill C-15, to allow First Nations to have the leverage to engage provincial jurisdictions such as Quebec, which will undoubtedly challenge its legitimacy, if not its application. “In any case, the AFNQL will continue to exercise increased vigilance for the respect of the principles and rights that the Declaration asserts. The right to self-determination is an undeniable reality. It will be up to governments to act accordingly and prepare to adapt their laws and policies with the spirit of the Declaration. If it is true that there is no relationship more important than that with Indigenous peoples, we expect the federal government to stand by our side, as a true ally, to support us and defend their law before Quebec,” declared AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

June 16, 2021

Assembly of First Nations on Passage of UNDRIP

“This is a major step forward for First Nations and for Canada – this is concrete action, this is history in the making,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, adding the passing of this federal legislation comes after decades of advocacy by First Nations and indigenous peoples worldwide.  “This legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Right of indigenous Peoples in Canada can be a pathway to reconciliation, guided by our inherent and Treaty rights. Its full implementation will see First Nations rights respected and implemented and is essential to addressing all forms of racism and discrimination in Canada.”

December 3, 2020

Assembly of First Nations on Tabling of UNDRIP

“The bill tabled today contains key elements that the Assembly of First Nations has long sought to ensure that Canada meets its obligations to respect and implement the UN Declaration,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “The UN Declaration is a crucial tool for addressing systemic racism and closing the gap in quality of life between First Nations and Canadians. The new bill provides a much-needed framework to put the Declaration into practice.”

In its provisions, the new bill is closely modelled on Bill C-262, a private Member’s bill that was passed by the House of Commons in 2018.  When Bill C-262 was blocked in the Senate, AFN Chiefs passed a resolution calling for federal legislation that “fully respects the intent of the Declaration, and establishes Bill C- 262 as the floor, rather than the ceiling.”

National Chief Bellegarde said, “The AFN has been given a clear mandate from our Chiefs to advocate for federal legislation that builds on the foundations of Bill C-262 and is every bit as strong as Bill C-262 in its respect for our rights. The bill tabled today meets that test.”

Bill C-15 contains strong language affirming our inherent right to self-determination, highlights the urgent need to respect and promote our rights affirmed in Treaties and commits the Government of Canada to an action plan that includes measures to combat and eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination, including systemic discrimination.

December 7, 2020

Inuit Nunangat FPIC measures included in land-claim agreements IBA’s

Nunatsiaq News – Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami explained to reporters that Inuit representative institutions already enjoy — effectively — the right to free, prior and informed consent. It’s enshrined in constitutionally protected land-claim agreements, and in Inuit impact and benefit agreements with developers. “Canada is already doing it in many ways. So we should look to these places where free, prior and informed consent is actually happening and is being implemented,” Obed said, in a reference to Inuit Nunangat.

April 1, 2021

ITK Board endorses Bill C-15

The ITK Board of Directors met virtually last week week and passed a resolution to endorse Bill C-15 An Act respecting the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as proposed amendments to strengthen the legislation through the inclusion of an independent oversight and enforcement mechanism as part of an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration. Through the resolution, Inuit continue to call for the establishment of an Indigenous Human Rights Commission, starting with a federal strategy to outline the mandate, resources, procedure and time frame to create the office, and legislative mechanisms to create an advisory committee to inform distinctions-based appointments to the Indigenous Human Rights Commission.

December 3, 2020

MNC denounces fear-mongering tactics

CBC – David Chartrand, national spokesperson for the Métis National Council, said the claim that Indigenous people seeking to be consulted on projects want to kill industry is being used as a “fearmongering” tactic. “This is a blueprint for clarity,” said Chartrand. “This is a better example for industry to know … full well when they’re putting their money to something [that] it’s got the backing of not only Indigenous governments, but also the federal, provincial and all parties involved.”

February 11, 2021

Open Letter in support of implementing UNDRIP

NationTalk – When the Declaration was first brought to a vote at the United Nations, the Harper government tried to block its adoption. The federal government continued to oppose the Declaration for years before finally reversing its position. After Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons, a small group of Conservatives used stalling tactics to prevent it coming to a final vote in the Senate. Now that the federal government has brought forward the new implementation bill that it had promised, a group of provinces have begun lobbying against it.

Advances in the recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights continue to be opposed by those forces who want to keep our peoples’ in a state of colonial dependency. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation about the Declaration.

In our view, as Indigenous activists, scholars and leaders who have been deeply engaged in the long struggle to advance the Declaration, passage of Bill C-15 would create an important foundation for confronting colonialism and addressing the urgent needs of our Nations and communities. We cannot allow misinformation to stand in the way of realizing our fundamental human rights.

January 24, 2017

Position paper today on implementing UNDRIP in Canada

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami released a position paper today on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The paper outlines Inuit expectations regarding the federal government’s commitment to implementing the UNDRIP. It describes ITK’s preferred approach to working in partnership with the federal government on implementing the critical human rights norms articulated by the document, including through national legislation.

December 7, 2020

Response of Cree Government to tabling of Bill C-15

 The Cree Nation Government welcomes the tabling of Bill C-15 – The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-15 provides an essential framework for reconciliation, healing and peace, as well as harmonious and cooperative relations based on the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith. This legislation will contribute to ensuring that historic injustices, colonialism, and current instances of systemic discrimination can be addressed, while also promoting the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and the right of self-government.

April 26, 2021

Submission To The House Of Commons Standing Committee On Indigenous And Northern Affairs On Bill C-15

 Inuit Tapirit Kanatami released “Submission To The House Of Commons Standing Committee On Indigenous And Northern Affairs On Bill C-15”. In order to remedy identified shortcomings, a bill whose purpose is to implement the UN Declaration in Canada should include the following legislative elements:

  • Legislation should establish an Indigenous Human Rights Commission and/or independent oversight body whose activities are supported through adequate, sustainable and long-term financing. The Commission and/or body should be responsible for monitoring federal compliance with the rights affirmed by the UN Declaration and oversee the promotion of those rights nationally.
  • The Commission and/or oversight body should be established consistent with the
    UN Paris Principles, which provide the international benchmarks against which national human rights institutions can be accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. The UN Paris Principles set out criteria in relation to autonomy from government, independence, adequate powers of investigations, resourcing, pluralism, and mandate and competence.
  • The Commission and/or oversight body should be empowered to conduct investigations of federal departments and institutions, and send discrimination-related complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for further examination.
  • Legislation should include provisions that provide for the adequate, sustainable and long-term financing of the obligations identified in the bill.

Other Actions and Commitments By Theme

Govt. Commitment to UNDRIP

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Comparison Between Bill C-262 and Bill C-15

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Indigenous Response to the Failure of Bill C-262

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