United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (43-44)

Current Reality

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.

March 1: CBC News:  The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay is making an official visit to Canada. The 10-day trip starts in Ottawa Wednesday and includes visits to Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver before returning to Ottawa. During the visit, Calí Tzay will examine a wide range of issues affecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis, including:

  • the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • the right to self-determination, land, and resources
  • missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls
  • unmarked burials associated with residential schools
  • language and culture, and
  • free, prior and informed consent

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

June 22, 2023: The federal government releases the Bill C-15 Action Plan with 181 measures to advance the rights of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people

April 6, 2023: First Nations leaders urged the Liberals to amend the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. While First Nations widely support the declaration, they expressed the following concerns:

  • there isn’t 100 per cent consensus that Canada’s UN declaration act is in the best interest of First Nations
  • The plan’s language around free, prior and informed consent — the principle that Indigenous peoples have the right to say yes or no to projects that impact them — must be strengthened
  • Failure to envision reconciliation that includes the full recognition of First Nations inherent and treaty rights, title and jurisdiction
  • The consultation process was rushed, leaving “grossly inadequate time” for First Nations to provide input, adding that the vast majority of First Nations were excluded
  • Less than a third of the federal cash available for consultation was handed to First Nations while the remaining majority went to “Indigenous organizations which are not rights holders,” itself a move that violates the UN declaration.

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.

Provincial and Territory Updates
Mar. 30, 2023: Northwest Territories introduced a bill to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane says a new act about Indigenous rights “gives teeth” to laws requiring the territorial government to consult with Indigenous groups.

Nov. 7, 2020: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick – The provincial governments 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.

0/2 CTAs have been completed to date


Fully adopt and implement UNDRIP as the framework for reconcilation

In Progress


Develop national action plan and strategies to achieve UNDRIP goals

In Progress

Featured Updates

Current Problems

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Bill C-15 Action Plan

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Federal Conservative Party Opposition

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Indigenous Opposition to UNDRIP

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Problems with BC UNDRIP Bill

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Problems with NWT UNDRIP Bill

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Provincial Opposition

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UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples

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Background Content

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UNDRIP Endorsements

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