Implementing UNDRIP – What will this mean for the Indigenous people?

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Dear Friend,

The Canadian government is once again debating the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP) application in Canada, a nation that would not exist but for genocide and the theft and occupation of Indigenous lands.

On December 3, 2020, the federal government introduced Bill C-15, An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the House of Commons. The bill attempts to establish a process for the domestic implementation of the UNDRIP.

The rights and principles affirmed in UNDRIP constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples of the world.

But what might the implementation of Bill C-15 mean for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis rights holders in relationship to Canada? Read more in my new blog featuring various perspectives on Bill C-15.

Despite the hard work and perseverance of Indigenous peoples to bring about what became UNDRIP, Canada’s journey towards its endorsement... has been long and reluctantly taken. Along the way, Canada has repeatedly violated Indigenous rights and has broken its promises to Indigenous peoples.

As a result, Bill C-15 has been met with mixed reactions. Proponents of Bill C-15 welcome it as an opportunity for Canada to finally meet its implementation obligations. Yet, critics question its integrity, its impact beyond mere window dressing, and view it as a potential threat to Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.

After reviewing the first draft of the Bill, we are in agreement with the need for improvement and we would like to see greater accountability on the part of Canada to uphold UNDRIP as it stands. Read more in my blog.

Now and always, the BCCLA upholds the right of Indigenous people to be free to choose how they want to live their lives – including the right of Indigenous peoples to carry out their relationships and responsibilities to their lands territories and resources. We stand against the unjust coercion of Indigenous people by Canada. We stand in opposition to government action that unjustly takes away the right of Indigenous peoples to determine and shape their own futures.

As Bill C-15 makes its way through the Senate, we pledge our continued vigilance and commitment to promoting and supporting Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.


Veronica Martisius (she/her)
Staff Counsel (Policy)

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