Background Content

Call to Action # 43: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (43-44)

First Nations Leadership Council

June 23, 2019

BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs)

The failure to pass C-262 is a clear step backwards for reconciliation across this country. Despite the death of Bill C-262, the UN Declaration has status of customary international law and is fully applicable to Canada without requiring statutory implementation—although the proposal for a national plan in Bill C-262 would have been important for concrete and meaningful progress. The UN Declaration remains a valuable human rights instrument which is guiding better understandings of Indigenous peoples’ human rights and assisting to improve relationships and respect through various other legislative enactments.

The BC Cabinet approved the Commitment Document in 2018 and in follow-up the FNLC is working actively with the Government of BC to co-develop provincial legislation supporting the implementation of the UN Declaration in BC following BC commitments in the 2019 Throne Speech which stated; “This year, government has begun working with First Nations to make sure they are full participants in decision-making that affect their rights and lands. B.C. will be the first province in Canada to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, legislation co-developed with the First Nations Leadership Council and other Indigenous organizations. This legislation will form the foundation for the Province’s work on reconciliation, mandating government to bring provincial laws and policies into harmony with the Declaration.”

The FNLC will continue to work vigorously with governments at all levels, national, provincial and municipal, to fully implement the UN Declaration. In the lead up to and following the October federal election, the FNLC will be advocating for all parties to endorse a renewed UN Declaration implementation in support of this critical human rights instrument. Support for the UN Declaration must be recognized as a non-partisan issue that is critical to achieving true lasting reconciliation across Canada.