Fact sheet – United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a comprehensive international human rights instrument on the rights of Indigenous peoples around the world.
The objective of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (the Act) is to advance the federal implementation of the Declaration in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples. The goal of the Act is to create a roadmap to implement the Declaration in Canada in partnership with Indigenous peoples.
The Act helps:
- Create a roadmap to advance work together to implement the Declaration in Canada
- Protect, promote and uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada
- Forge stronger relationships with Indigenous peoples and advance reconciliation
- Respond to calls from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Confront the harms of the Canada’s colonial history and build a better, more equitable future together
The Act mandates the Government to work with Indigenous peoples to:
- Develop an action plan to achieve the Declaration’s objectives
- Take measures to ensure federal laws are consistent with the Declaration
- Prepare annual reports on progress
This action plan must be developed with Indigenous peoples and will include measures to:
- Address injustices, combat prejudice and eliminate all forms of violence, racism and discrimination against Indigenous peoples
- Promote mutual respect and understanding, as well as good relations, including through human rights education
- Ensure Canada is held accountable on progress through regular reporting and oversight
In addition, the preamble of the Act emphasizes:
- The Declaration as a framework for reconciliation, healing and peace
- Respecting and promoting the inherent rights of all Indigenous peoples
- Addressing discrimination and racism, and denouncing discriminatory doctrines, policies and practices
- Affirming the constitutional protection of Aboriginal and treaty rights and that such rights are not frozen but can evolve and grow
- Taking into account the diversity of Indigenous peoples
- Respecting treaty rights, treaties and other agreements
- Basing all relations on Indigenous peoples’ inherent right to self-determination, including the right of self-government
The Act provides a clear vision for sustained and continued efforts to uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples now and into the future, while also respecting Aboriginal and Treaty rights recognized and affirmed in the Constitution.
In this way, the Act will ensure that, moving forward, federal laws reflect the standards set out in the Declaration.
Moving forward together
As a first step, the Government of Canada will be working closely with First Nations, Inuit and the Métis to better understand their priorities to help shape the initial draft of an action plan and begin to identify potential measures for aligning federal laws with the Declaration.
This first phase focusses on engagement with Indigenous partners, including:
- First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights holders, including modern treaty signatories, self-governing nations and historic treaty partners, as well as with national and regional Indigenous representative organizations
- Indigenous women, Elders, youth, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, urban Indigenous people and other Indigenous organizations and groups
This is only the first step toward the development of an action plan with Indigenous partners. There will be a further process for Indigenous peoples and the Government of Canada to work in cooperation on measures to implement the Declaration, informed by the priorities identified in the initial draft of the action plan.
For more information about the Declaration and the Act, visit Canada.ca/Declaration
- Annual Report 2022
- Statement – June 21, 2022
- Engagement and resource kit
- Fact Sheet - The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
- Declaration themes
- Watch the video: Voices on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
- The Declaration in action
- Bill C-15: What we learned report
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