The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, a coalition of Indigenous peoples’ Nations and organizations and other human rights advocates, welcomes the tabling of Bill C-15, a federal government bill to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Bill C-15 would provide a much-needed and long overdue framework for the federal government to work cooperatively with Indigenous peoples to implement the standards of, and rights affirmed in, the UN Declaration in law and policy.
Such implementation is the purpose of adopting human rights instruments like the UN Declaration.
Bill C-15 builds on Bill C-262, a Private Member’s Bill that was passed by the House of Commons in 2018 and which had broad public support, including grassroots Indigenous peoples. Bill C-262 would already be part of Canadian law except for stalling tactics that prevented a final vote in the Senate.
Because the core purpose of the new Bill is to provide a framework for implementation, much of the crucial work of setting priorities and reforming laws and policies will follow only after Bill C-15 is adopted into law. That makes its passage through the Parliamentary process that much more urgent. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called the UN Declaration “the framework for reconciliation.” The work of implementation should have begun long ago.