Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada
Building a brighter future. Building a better Canada.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (the Declaration) provides us with a road map to advance lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It shows us that further steps must be taken to respect, recognize and protect the human rights of Indigenous peoples and to address the wrongs of the past.
In 2016, the Government of Canada endorsed the Declaration without qualification and committed to its full and effective implementation.
In December 2020, the Government of Canada introduced legislation to implement the Declaration. On June 21, 2021, Bill C-15, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act received Royal Assent. This Act will provide a road map for the Government and Indigenous peoples to work together to fully implement the Declaration.
Legislation to advance federal implementation of the Declaration is an important step in moving Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples forward. It is a key building block in fully recognizing, respecting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of Indigenous peoples. Further, both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls called on the federal government to implement the Declaration as the framework for reconciliation.
Implementing the Declaration is about building a better Canada for Indigenous peoples and all Canadians today, and into our future.
The Declaration in Action
Simply put, the Declaration affirms that the human rights of Indigenous peoples matter. Together, First Nations, Inuit and Métis and the Government of Canada are already working to implement the Declaration – to put it into action. While the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples Act creates a lasting framework to advance federal implementation of the Declaration in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, there are already initiatives underway that are guided by the spirit of the Declaration.
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