Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Revisions to “Draft” Action Plan to Implement UNDRIP

July 20, 2021

McCarthy Tetrault – The “draft” action Plan released in June 202 “identifies 79 proposed actions that the provincial government will take to achieve the objectives of UNDRIP in cooperation with Indigenous peoples over the next five years. The Province is currently seeking input on the plan and the deadline for submissions is July 31, 2021. Some of the measures include:

  • new framework for resource revenue sharing and other fiscal mechanisms to support Indigenous peoples;
  • the negotiation of joint-decision making agreements and agreements in which consent from Indigenous governing bodies will be required before the BC government exercises a statutory decision-making power;
    enhanced treaty implementation infrastructure and education of public servants about treaty rights and obligations;
  • reviews of various policies and programs relating to the stewardship of the environment, land and resources;
  • establishing targets for Indigenous representation in the public sector and combatting racism and systemic discrimination in key areas including policing and health care;
  • supporting the revitalization of Indigenous languages and the protection of Indigenous cultural sites;
  • establishing economic metrics to help evaluate progress as reconciliation is advanced; and
  • establishing a dedicated secretariat to coordinate the Province’s reconciliation and UNDRIP compliance efforts and a new institution to provide support to First Nations in their work of nation and governance rebuilding and resolution of overlapping claims.

There are a number of measures within the Draft Action Plan that will impact resource and infrastructure development in BC, including the negotiation of joint-decision making agreements and agreements requiring consent from Indigenous governing bodies. These agreements are expressly contemplated in the Declaration Act but go beyond requirements under the duty to consult and accommodate.

The Draft Action Plan is informed by a number of principles, including being premised on:

  • a distinctions-based approach (reflecting the distinctiveness of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis and their respective rights and interests);
  • legal plurality (recognizing the multitude of legal orders including Indigenous laws);
  • enabling (supporting government-to-government relationships between Indigenous peoples and the province); and
  • impactful (making tangible improvements to Indigenous peoples’ social, physical, cultural, and economic wellbeing).

The Draft Action Plan details 79 actions to be undertaken, which are divided into four themes:

  • Self-determination and inherent right of self-government;
  • Title and rights of Indigenous peoples;
  • Ending Indigenous-specific racism and discrimination; and
  • Social, cultural, and economic wellbeing.