The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instrument adopted by the United Nations on September 13, 2007, to enshrine the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” Endorsed to date by nearly 150 countries, including Canada, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most comprehensive international instrument on the fundamental rights and freedoms of Indigenous peoples (culture, identity, religion, language, territory, health, education, cooperation) impacting approximately 370M indigenous peoples.
Three distinct lenses are required to assess how UNDRIP is advancing in Canada: federal government, provincial and territory governments and First Nations, Métis and Inuit on what the various stakeholder’s actions really mean.
Federal Government Updates
April 7, 2022: Budget 2022 invests $75M over 5 years to implement the United Nations Declaration Act
June 21, 2021: Bill C-15 – An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act receives Royal Assent and becomes law.
April 19, 2021: Budget 2021 proposes $31.5M over two years, starting in 2021-22 to support the co-development of an Action Plan with Indigenous partners to implement this legislation and to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Declaration.
Provincial and Territory Updates
Mar. 30, 2022 – BC Government releases UNDRIP Action Plan 2022-2027 with 89 Calls to Actions under four themes. On June 6, 2022 Tahltan Central Government and BC entered into the first consent-based decision-making agreement under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act).
Dec. 2020: NWT – A new Legislative Development Protocol from the Intergovernmental Council of the Northwest Territories gives Indigenous governments a seat at the table for decisions about land and resource management. The protocol, the first agreement of its kind in Canada, supports the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by respecting, consulting and collaborating with Indigenous Governments on land and resource management.
Nov. 7, 2020: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick – The provincial governments of objected to the introduction of Bill C-15 “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” for First Reading in the House of Commons. They objected to the six-week timeframe to review the bill. As the Minister of Justice David Lametti pointed out, UNDRIP was adopted by the UN in 2007, endorsed by Canada in 2016 and spent two years being debated in the House of Commons and the Senate after being tabled by MP Romeo Saganash on April 21, 2016.
July 11, 2022: AFN calls for meeting with Premiers to discuss UNDRIP and affirming and implementing rights, title and jurisdiction as a foundation for restoring the rightful relationship between First Nations and Canada, including provinces
Dec. 4, 2020: AFN Update on progress of UNDRIP legislation + detailed background information and comparison between Bill C-15 and Bill C262