Minister’s Message

I am honoured to table the inaugural annual report regarding progress made on implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UN Declaration Act).

The UN Declaration Act creates a lasting and action-oriented framework to advance federal implementation of the UN Declaration in partnership with Indigenous peoples. It ensures sustained and continued efforts to uphold the human rights of Indigenous peoples now and in the future and contains measures to hold the federal government accountable. This transformational and multi-generational work is a critical step towards recognizing, promoting, protecting, and upholding the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

This first annual report denotes the starting point of the historic work to implement the UN Declaration Act at the federal level, as the Government of Canada moves from legislated commitments to taking tangible action in partnership with First Nation, Inuit and Métis partners.

Since June 2021, the Government of Canada has begun to put the building blocks in place inside of Government to enable effective implementation of the Act. Progress to date has included the creation and staffing of a new Secretariat within the Department of Justice to fully support the implementation work happening with Indigenous partners and across all Government departments. Early work has concentrated on providing funding to support the participation of Indigenous peoples in the process to develop the action plan and other measures required by the Act, including support for Indigenous-led consultations. Focus has also been on working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to identify initial priorities to help shape the draft action plan and to begin to identify potential measures for aligning federal laws with the UN Declaration. Efforts have also been made to educate, inform and advise Government departments on roles and responsibilities as we make progress together.

Together with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, we are charting a new way forward toward reconciliation – toward a new relationship and the promise of a more fair and equitable Canada for all.

I want to thank all our Indigenous partners who walked with us on this journey thus far. Your efforts ensured that the UN Declaration Act became law, a law that provides a clear vision for the future.

The next step has already started: together we are developing the UN Declaration Act action plan. This plan will ground us, guide us, and allow us to ensure the human rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada are promoted, protected and respected.

I look forward to providing you with these annual progress reports as we move forward, as we take more action to fully implement the UN Declaration in the spirit of lasting reconciliation, healing, and cooperative relations.

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

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