Skip to content

Submission to the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs Study on Bill C-15: An Act Respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Endorsed by: Amnistie Internationale Canada, BC Assembly of First Nations, BC Treaty Commission, Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers), First Nations Summit, Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government, KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives, Métis Nation, Dr. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics, UBC, Ellen Gabriel, Kanien’kehá:ka Activist

The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples brings together Indigenous Nations, organizations, grassroots leaders and other experts, along with civil society organizations. The common purpose is to ensure that the human rights of Indigenous peoples, in particular, those affirmed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Declaration), are recognized, respected and upheld.

Coalition members have long advocated for the adoption of a legislative framework to implement the Declaration. All parties in the Canadian Parliament have expressed their support for the principles and ideals of the Declaration. Such statements are not sufficient. Concrete implementation in law and policy is essential to meeting the fundamental purposes of the Declaration. A legislative framework is critical to ensuring that this work will be carried out, regardless of who forms the government of the day.

The Declaration states that its provisions constitute “the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” Nothing less than the fulfillment of these standards is acceptable. In Article 42, the Declaration sets out the expectation that “States shall promote respect for and full application of the provisions of this Declaration and follow up the effectiveness of this Declaration.” Article 38 requires that “States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.”

Continue reading…