Indigenous Nations and representative organizations, human rights groups, and faith communities urge the Minister of Justice to table legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as soon as Parliament convenes this fall. This will be a timely, positive step toward upholding Canada’s human rights obligations.
We are concerned, however, that the federal government is currently preparing for a lengthy consultation process involving provinces, territories, industry and the Canadian public. Such an onerous process is unnecessary.
A similar federal bill was already passed by the House of Commons in 2018 – after public debate – and would be part of Canadian law today except for filibustering by a small group of Senators. It is vital that this urgently needed legislation not be defeated by further needless delays.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said, “Implementation legislation is about working together to put Canada’s human rights commitments into practice. I ask Canadians to join us in urging the federal government to now move forward as quickly as possible. Let’s make sure that Canada is on the path to implementation before this session of Parliament ends.”