We call upon federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusJan. 10, 2022IN PROGRESS
Previous StatusDec 5, 2021IN PROGRESS

Why “In Progress”?

June 21, 2021 – Bill C-15 – An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Developed with Indigenous Peoples, this Act creates a legislative framework to implement the Declaration in Canada. It requires the Government of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, to develop an action plan to achieve the Declaration’s objectives and take all measures necessary to align federal laws with the Declaration. The action plan, which must be developed in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples in two years, 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

Only BC and the Northwest Territories have made legislative commitments to develop and implement UNDRIP legislation. Ontario and Quebec have backtracked on their original commitments. BC passed Bill 41 “The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act” on Nov. 28, 2019 when it received Royal Assent and became law.

May 25, 2021: Global News – Bill C-15 “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” has passed third reading in the House of Commons. The Liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois and remaining two Greens joined forces to send Bill C-15 to the Senate, with a final tally of 210 to 118. Only the Conservatives and I Independent (a former conservative) voted against the bill.

Dec. 1, 2020: Government of Canada introduced Bill C-15 “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” for First Reading in the House Commons over the strong objections of the provincial governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick. Bill C-15 replaces Bill C-292 An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” that died in the Senate on June 21, 2019 where the “unelected” Conservative senators scuttled a Bill passed by a House of Commons “elected” majority by a vote of 206 (Liberals, NDP, Green, Bloc Quebecois) to 79 (all conservatives).

In an interview with APTN (Aug. 24, 2020) Erin O’Toole, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, indicated he would not support the UN Declaration and would also outlaw blockades that target critical infrastructure. Francois Legault, Premier of Quebec is now opposed and Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario, has been non-committal.

Significant deletion from federal government official response:

Deleted reference to Bill C-262 on harmonization of federal laws with the UN Declaration.

Comparison Table Between UNDRIP Bill C-15 and Bill C-262

The table is a “draft” prepared for briefing purposes by Assembly of First Nations legal team member Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The following link highlights – section by section – the preliminary comparison table between federal Bill C-15 versus its predecessor Bill C-262 as follows:

  • Preamble: PP1 – PP22
  • Short Title:
  • Implementation
  • Designation Minister
  • Measures for Consistency of Laws and Achieving the Objectives of the Declaration
  • Preamble

See the link below for complete comparison details.


Indigenous organization responses to tabling and passage of Bill C-15
Assembly of First Nations

June 16, 2021: AFN – “This is a major step forward for First Nations and for Canada – this is concrete action, this is history in the making,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, adding the passing of this federal legislation comes after decades of advocacy by First Nations and indigenous peoples worldwide.  “This legislation to implement the UN Declaration on the Right of indigenous Peoples in Canada can be a pathway to reconciliation, guided by our inherent and Treaty rights. Its full implementation will see First Nations rights respected and implemented and is essential to addressing all forms of racism and discrimination in Canada.”

Dec. 8-9, 2020Toronto Star (Windpeaker.com) – The Assembly of First Nations Annual General Meeting failed to adopt “Resolution 86/2019 Support for Federal Legislation to Create a Framework to Implement the UN Declaration

A number of objections were raised:

  • too little time allotted in the debate to address the many concerns raised about Bill C-15
  • Not enough substantive discussions with Indigenous leadership by the federal government 
  • three-year timeframe to develop a National Action Plan and Strategy is too long
  • Exclusion of the term racism from the Bill within the context of discrimination
  • Concerns around Canada continuing to veto inherent rights
  • The Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians affirmed their sovereignty and right to self-determination, and had refused to be engaged in reviewing Bill C-15.
  • Recognition of Indigenous laws, customs and traditions
  • Items identified in the Preamble should have been embedded in the Bill

Chief Judy Wilson said a resolution supporting implementation of UNDRIP should be brought back for consideration to the chiefs’ assembly in July 2021.

Dec. 3, 2020 – “The bill tabled today contains key elements that the Assembly of First Nations has long sought to ensure that Canada meets its obligations to respect and implement the UN Declaration,” said National Chief Bellegarde. “The UN Declaration is a crucial tool for addressing systemic racism and closing the gap in quality of life between First Nations and Canadians. The new bill provides a much-needed framework to put the Declaration into practice.”

In its provisions, the new bill is closely modelled on Bill C-262, a private Member’s bill that was passed by the House of Commons in 2018.  When Bill C-262 was blocked in the Senate, AFN Chiefs passed a resolution calling for federal legislation that “fully respects the intent of the Declaration, and establishes Bill C- 262 as the floor, rather than the ceiling.”

National Chief Bellegarde said, “The AFN has been given a clear mandate from our Chiefs to advocate for federal legislation that builds on the foundations of Bill C-262 and is every bit as strong as Bill C-262 in its respect for our rights. The bill tabled today meets that test.”

Bill C-15 contains strong language affirming our inherent right to self-determination, highlights the urgent need to respect and promote our rights affirmed in Treaties and commits the Government of Canada to an action plan that includes measures to combat and eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination, including systemic discrimination.

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

April 26, 2021 – Inuit Tapirit Kanatami released “Submission To The House Of Commons Standing Committee On Indigenous And Northern Affairs On Bill C-15”. In order to remedy identified shortcomings, a bill whose purpose is to implement the UN Declaration in Canada should include the following legislative elements:

  • Legislation should establish an Indigenous Human Rights Commission and/or independent oversight body whose activities are supported through adequate, sustainable and long-term financing. The Commission and/or body should be responsible for monitoring federal compliance with the rights affirmed by the UN Declaration and oversee the promotion of those rights nationally.
  • The Commission and/or oversight body should be established consistent with the
    UN Paris Principles, which provide the international benchmarks against which national human rights institutions can be accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions. The UN Paris Principles set out criteria in relation to autonomy from government, independence, adequate powers of investigations, resourcing, pluralism, and mandate and competence.
  • The Commission and/or oversight body should be empowered to conduct investigations of federal departments and institutions, and send discrimination-related complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for further examination.
  • Legislation should include provisions that provide for the adequate, sustainable and long-term financing of the obligations identified in the bill.

April 1, 2021 – The ITK Board of Directors met virtually last week week and passed a resolution to endorse Bill C-15 An Act respecting the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as proposed amendments to strengthen the legislation through the inclusion of an independent oversight and enforcement mechanism as part of an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration. Through the resolution, Inuit continue to call for the establishment of an Indigenous Human Rights Commission, starting with a federal strategy to outline the mandate, resources, procedure and time frame to create the office, and legislative mechanisms to create an advisory committee to inform distinctions-based appointments to the Indigenous Human Rights Commission.

Dec. 7, 2020: Nunatsiaq News – Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapariit Kanatami explained to reporters that Inuit representative institutions already enjoy — effectively — the right to free, prior and informed consent. It’s enshrined in constitutionally protected land-claim agreements, and in Inuit impact and benefit agreements with developers. “Canada is already doing it in many ways. So we should look to these places where free, prior and informed consent is actually happening and is being implemented,” Obed said, in a reference to Inuit Nunangat.

Jan. 24, 2017 – Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami released a position paper today on implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The paper outlines Inuit expectations regarding the federal government’s commitment to implementing the UNDRIP. It describes ITK’s preferred approach to working in partnership with the federal government on implementing the critical human rights norms articulated by the document, including through national legislation.

Métis National Council

Dec. 3, 2020: CBC – David Chartrand, national spokesperson for the Métis National Council, said the claim that Indigenous people seeking to be consulted on projects want to kill industry is being used as a “fearmongering” tactic. “This is a blueprint for clarity,” said Chartrand. “This is a better example for industry to know … full well when they’re putting their money to something [that] it’s got the backing of not only Indigenous governments, but also the federal, provincial and all parties involved.”

The Grand Council of the Cree

Dec. 7, 2020 – The Cree Nation Government welcomes the tabling of Bill C-15 – The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Bill C-15 provides an essential framework for reconciliation, healing and peace, as well as harmonious and cooperative relations based on the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith. This legislation will contribute to ensuring that historic injustices, colonialism, and current instances of systemic discrimination can be addressed, while also promoting the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples to self-determination and the right of self-government.

BC Assembly of First Nations

Feb. 11, 2021: NationTalk – When the Declaration was first brought to a vote at the United Nations, the Harper government tried to block its adoption. The federal government continued to oppose the Declaration for years before finally reversing its position. After Bill C-262 was passed by the House of Commons, a small group of Conservatives used stalling tactics to prevent it coming to a final vote in the Senate. Now that the federal government has brought forward the new implementation bill that it had promised, a group of provinces have begun lobbying against it.

Advances in the recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights continue to be opposed by those forces who want to keep our peoples’ in a state of colonial dependency. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation about the Declaration.

In our view, as Indigenous activists, scholars and leaders who have been deeply engaged in the long struggle to advance the Declaration, passage of Bill C-15 would create an important foundation for confronting colonialism and addressing the urgent needs of our Nations and communities. We cannot allow misinformation to stand in the way of realizing our fundamental human rights.https://nationtalk.ca/story/bcafn-this-is-what-we-fought-for-an-open-letter-in-support-of-implementing-the-un-declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples

Assembly of First Nations Québec – Labrador

June 16, 2021 – Let us recall that the AFNQL submitted proposed amendments that it deemed reasonable to the various committees in charge of studying Bill C-15, to allow First Nations to have the leverage to engage provincial jurisdictions such as Quebec, which will undoubtedly challenge its legitimacy, if not its application. “In any case, the AFNQL will continue to exercise increased vigilance for the respect of the principles and rights that the Declaration asserts. The right to self-determination is an undeniable reality. It will be up to governments to act accordingly and prepare to adapt their laws and policies with the spirit of the Declaration. If it is true that there is no relationship more important than that with Indigenous peoples, we expect the federal government to stand by our side, as a true ally, to support us and defend their law before Quebec,” declared AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

Government Commitments to Implement UNDRIP

Federal Government

Dec. 10, 2021: Launched a consultation, cooperation and engagement process with Indigenous peoples…to develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Declaration, including measures for ensuring that federal laws are consistent with the Declaration. As a first step, funding is now available to Indigenous peoples and their governments and organizations, through a call for proposals, to support their participation in the consultation, cooperation and engagement process. This includes funding to:

  • support Indigenous-led consultations on action plan measures,
  • including measures to ensure the consistency of federal laws with the Declaration, and
  • annual reporting on progress.

Through the consultation, cooperation and engagement process, Indigenous peoples, groups and organizations will have the opportunity to share their views and priorities for the implementation of the Act through a variety of avenues and methods over the coming months.

June 21, 2021 – Bill C-15 The United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous people receives Royal Assent and becomes law. Developed with Indigenous Peoples, this Act creates a legislative framework to implement the Declaration in Canada. It requires the Government of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, to develop an action plan to achieve the Declaration’s objectives and take all measures necessary to align federal laws with the Declaration.

The action plan, which must be developed in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples in two years, 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

This legislation will complement and inform other initiatives underway across Canada with Indigenous partners to close socio-economic gaps, advance reconciliation and renew relationships based on the affirmation of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

The next step is for the Government of Canada to continue its collaboration with Indigenous partners, on a distinctions-based approach, to understand their priorities for the action plan and to identify measures to align federal laws with the Declaration over time. 

Dec. 3, 2020 – The Government of Canada introduced Bill C-15 “An Act respecting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” for First Reading in the House of Commons. This legislation responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 43…It also responds to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice.

 Bill C-15 is about protecting and promoting the rights of Indigenous peoples including rights to equality and non-discrimination, self-government and the inherent right to self-determination. It also highlights the importance of respecting and promoting the rights in treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements between the Crown and Indigenous people.

Aug. 24, 2020 – Social Science and Humanities Research Council is funding $2.5 million over six years to support the Rebuilding First Nations Governance project, an investigation into transforming Indian Act governance. Carleton University researcher Frances Abele in the School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) and project co-founders Satsan (Herb George) of the Centre for First Nations Governance and Catherine MacQuarrie, a fellow with SPPA, tackles perhaps the most intractable issue in Indigenous-Canada relations: how can First Nations work free of Indian Act governance to become fully self-governing within Canada? RFNG is an alliance of First Nation communities and tribal councils, and academic researchers and practitioners, committed to working from the community level up to end Indian Act governance and build alternatives that realize the inherent right to self-government as affirmed in the Constitution Act.

Dec. 5, 2019 – The Speech from the Throne committed to take action to co-develop and introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the first year of the new mandate;

June 21, 2019 – Conservative senators effectively killed Bill C-262 – on National Indigenous People’s Day – be ensuring the Bill dies on the Order paper when parliament dissolves for the summer. The Liberals have committed to reintroducing the Bill in the fall if they win the election.

Dec. 12, 2017 – Leaders of the AFN, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and the Métis National Council attended a meeting of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Human Rights. This was the first meeting of Ministers responsible for human rights since 1988. One focus area was the need for all jurisdictions to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and that all governments have a role in this work. Going forward, there is a need for full inclusion of Indigenous peoples and leadership in these meetings. 

Nov. 21, 2017: CBC – Minister of Justice Jody Wilson-Raybould announced government support for Bill C-262 – An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.

August 22, 2017: The Conversation- The Supreme Court of Canada released two major decisions on the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples. The principles set out in the two cases: Clyde River (Hamlet) v. Petroleum Geo-Services Inc. and Chippewas of the Thames First Nation v. Enbridge Pipelines Inc. will help define what adequate consultation and accommodation now requires, and the responsibilities of various government decision-makers in fulfilling and evaluating whether the duty to consult has been met. The federal government commissioned two expert panels to recommend changes to the NEB and EA processes. Those expert panels have recommended overhauling these processes and replacing them with a regulatory process that fully takes into account Indigenous rights and incorporates the principle of free, prior and informed consent.


April 25, 2017 – Canada formally abandons its 2014 statements on paragraphs 3 and 20 of the 2014 Outcome Document from the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples and put Canada formally on record as fully committed to the standard of free, prior and informed consent expressed in the UN Declaration.

April 24 – May 5, 2017 – Canada invited by UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to share their experience reviewing relevant federal laws, policies, and operational practices to ensure alignment with international human rights standards, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

May 10, 2016 – Canada formally endorses UNDRIP at UN without qualification

April 21, 2016 – Romeo Saganash, NDP MP tabled Bill C-262 to ensure that the laws of Canada respect the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

British Columbia

Nov. 17, 2021: BC Government – Tabled Bill 29 which amends the Interpretation Act to make it clear that all provincial laws uphold, and do not diminish, the rights of Indigenous people protected under section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. This is known as a universal non-derogation clause.

The amendments to the Interpretation Act, developed in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous representative organizations, also add an interpretive direction that all provincial acts and regulations must be read so as to be consistent with the UN Declaration.


Nov. 29, 2021: First Nations leadership Council – On the second anniversary of British Columbia passing Bill 41, the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act)…the Province has yet to transform legislative processes to ensure new and existing laws are consistent with the UN Declaration, has not substantially and equitably advanced shared decision-making agreements with title and rights holders, and has not concluded an action plan – all obligations under its own law.

Certainly, the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic and recurring climate change emergencies such as flooding, and wildfires have significantly impacted effective implementation of the Declaration Act. At the same time, it is the disproportionate negative impacts of these events on First Nations governments and citizens that further reinforces the need for Indigenous co-development of provincial policy and legislation, and shared decision- making arrangements between Indigenous Governing Bodies and the provincial government. We look forward to working with the Province on a priority basis to establish a dedicated Secretariat to ensure all new legislation and policies are consistent with the UN Declaration, and involves consultation and cooperation with Indigenous leadership,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee, BC Assembly of First Nations.

April 23, 2021 – BC Assembly of First Nations: “Glaring omissions in the new provincial budget, including how monies will be spent on the BC Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act implementation, are cause for concern for First Nations in BC,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. How much funding will be spent on the costly and critical work of alignment of laws with the UN Declaration, as directed in the Declaration Act, of which there remains no concrete process that we are aware of? Is BC making any investment in a provincial action plan to implement the Calls for Justice? Robert Phillips, FNS Political Executive

Nov. 26, 2020 – Bill 22 “Mental Health Amendment Act” and Bill 17 “Clean Energy Amendment Act“, were passed without engaging with First Nations Title and Rights holders and without regard to the detrimental impacts these bills stand to have on First Nations and the rejection of these bills that many First Nations publicly provided. As a result, the First Nations Leadership Council has raised concerns about the BC government’s commitment to UNDRIP when their actions are incongruent with their words.
June 30, 2020 – The Province has released the first annual report on progress for implementing UNDRIP. Release of the 2019/2020 UNDRIP Report Card outlines progress made towards implementation for the time period from the date on which the Declaration Act was brought into force (November 28, 2019) until end of fiscal year 2019/20 (March 31, 2020). Progress to date includes the following:

  • Revitalizing Indigenous Languages
  • Improving Justice for Indigenous People
  • Improving the Approach to Child Welfare
  • Sharing Long-Term Stable Revenues
  • Working Together to Address Housing Needs
  • Improving Emergency Preparedness
  • Improving Educational Outcome for Indigenous Students
  • Supporting Skills Training Opportunities for Indigenous Learners
  • Recognizing Unique and Distinct Paths to Self-Determination
  • Changing How the Public Service Works with Indigenous Peoples: A Government-to-Government Approach

The process and introduction of the legislation represents a fundamental cultural and legal shift within the government, public service and the province. It leaves a lasting impact, creating precedents for legal progress and new ways of working in cooperation and consultation with Indigenous peoples as a means to advance reconciliation. The Action Plan will be released before the end of 2020.


Nov. 28, 2019 – The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Bill 41) received Royal Assent in British Columbia.

Oct. 24, 2019 – Premier John Horgan’s government introduced Bill 41 – ”The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act” to have the laws of BC reflect the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration’s 46 articles are aimed at making sure Indigenous peoples can survive with dignity and are treated fairly and with equity after colonization. (Toronto Star)

Over time as laws are modified or built, they will be aligned with the UN Declaration. Additional elements of the bill include:

  • a requirement to develop an action plan to meet the objectives of the UN Declaration, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples;
  • annual public reporting to monitor progress;
  • discretion for new decision-making agreements between the Province and Indigenous governments where decisions directly affect Indigenous peoples and mechanisms exist in applicable legislation – with clear processes, administrative fairness and transparency; and
  • recognition for additional forms of Indigenous governments in agreement-making, such as multiple Nations working together as a collective, or hereditary governments – as determined and recognized by the citizens of the Nation.

Businesses and investors will benefit as it creates certainty and predictability for projects in this province, British Columbians will benefit from job creation, and First Nations will benefit by having a seat at the table. We are finally moving forward together.” AFN BC Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

The BC Government’s Fact Sheet on UNDRIP unequivocally states: It is anticipated that Indigenous nations participating in an environmental assessment process will choose to make a decision on whether the project should receive a certificate either through an expression of consent or withholding of consent. Ministers must take these decisions into consideration, but retain final decision-making. They must provide reasons if their decision does not align with the decision of participating Indigenous nations. This affirms the government proposition that : This is our land and not yours”

Sept. 4, 2019 Recognition and Reconciliation of Rights Policy for Treaty Negotiations in British Columbia” a policy signed by First Nations Summit, the BC Government and the Government of Canada to facilitate the negotiation of Modern Treaties. Participating First Nations are those who want to negotiate “ a modern treaty” versus those First Nations (Union of BC Indian Chiefs) who object to the treaty process and instead negotiate from a position of “Inherent Rights”.

Mar. 15, 2019 – Seven Secwepemc communities and the Province (Ministers of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation; Environment and Climate Change Strategy; Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development; and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources) have committed to collaborating on a long-term reconciliation agreement focused on implementing inherent rights, improving community well-being and advancing government-to-government relationships. They will align their work with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The agreement sets the foundation for a government-to-government (G2G) relationship that can grow and evolve over time and support self-determination and economic prosperity – now and for future generations.

July 25, 2017 – New NDP premier re-affirmed his party’s commitment to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the calls to action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and has each of his 22 ministers to review policies, programs and legislation to determine how to bring the principles of the declaration into action in British Columbia

Sept. 6, 2017 – B.C. Cabinet and First Nations Leaders’ Gathering delivered a unified commitment to a government-to-government relationship built upon the recognition of Indigenous title and rights as the path towards reconciliation, with the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision, the UN Declaration and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action as the guide.


May 31, 2017 – The Indigenous Wisdom Advisory Panel will advise Alberta’s Chief Scientist about how to incorporate Indigenous perspectives and traditional ecological knowledge into environmental monitoring. Based on a commitment to UNDRIP (CBC)

Dec. 15, 2015 – Each ministry concluded its DRIP review in December, 2015 and are now formulating action plans to implement the principles and objectives of the UN Declaration so that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people are able to participate as equals in all aspects of Alberta’s society while maintaining their cultures and unique identities

July 7, 2015 – In an open letter to provincial cabinet members, Premier Notley asked each Minister to conduct a review of their policies, programs, and legislation that might require changes based on the principles of the UN Declaration.


May 20, 2020: Amnesty InternationalDespite legal obligations, Manitoba Hydro has not worked collaboratively to obtain consent to this most recent decision to expand operations (Keeyask Hydro project) and is ignoring requests by the four partner First Nations (Fox Lake, War, York Factory) to limit work at the dam site because of public health concerns. “Every effort must be made to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Ana Collins, Indigenous Rights Campaign Advisor with Amnesty International Canada.

“Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba are rightfully occupying and defending lands to which they still hold inherent title. Yet federal and provincial governments continue to rely upon repudiated papal doctrines of discovery and terra nullius to claim (as in the Haida decision) “presumed Crown sovereignty.” Northern

Manitoba First Nations had the highest rates of hospitalizations of all First Nations in Canada during the last H1N1 pandemic. MacLean’s July 16, 2009

Aug 24, 2017 – The Manitoba government has formally entered into an agreement with the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council (IRTC) that will allow them to consult, engage and discuss innovative ideas for the proposed Lake Manitoba Lake St. Martin Outlet Channels project. The consultation process will allow for information sharing and understanding of the proposed project, and will gather perspectives of the IRTC First Nations communities with the objective of fulfilling their constitutional duty to consult

March, 2016 – Committed to reconciliation and guided by the TRC Calls to Action and the principals set out in UNDRIP


June 11, 2020: DrydenNow – Sol Mamakwa, Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Affairs critic for the NDP is continuing “his year-long fight for the rights of Indigenous people across Ontario.” Bill 76 The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. 2019”. When asked if he would pass and implement UNDRIP legislation Premier Ford sidestepped the question and stated “there is never one step to do reconciliation.”

Mar. 7, 2020 DrydenNow – Sol Mamakwa, Kiiwetinoong MPP and Indigenous Affairs critic for the NDP says reconciliation between Ontario’s Indigenous community and the provincial Government is dead. His comments follow the arrests of Indigenous protestors at Tyendinaga and Wet’suwet’en vs Coastal GasLink protest across the country.

Mar. 25, 2019 – Second reading of Bill 76 passed by a vote of 91-0 last week. It will now go to committee.

Mar. 16, 2019 – “With the passage of this bill, Ontario will take a positive, concrete action towards formalizing a respectful relationship with the Indigenous Peoples of this province.” Mamakwa adds, approval will ensure provincial recognition of the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous People, stating, “Given the fragile nature between the state and the Indigenous Peoples, the current efforts to reconcile these relationships in Canada, it is vital that Ontario fully acknowledge and protect these rights.” (931 The Border).

Mar. 6, 2019 – “Bill 76 – An Act to ensure that the laws of Ontario are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”, a Private Members Bill introduced for First reading in the Ontario legislature Sol Mamakwa, Member of Provincial Parliament, Kiiwetinoong and the Official Opposition Critic for Indigenous Relations. The Bill enacts the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, 2019. The Act requires the Government of Ontario to take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Ontario are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Dec. 1, 2020 – The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), a right wing think-tank aligned with the economic interest of Quebec’s business elite released the results of an Ipsos poll MEI commissioned indicating that 55% of Quebecers are opposed to UNDRIP and should not have any rights beyond what is available to all Quebecers in the province.

Aug. 14, 2020 – Premier Francois Legault reluctant to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) because he fears that it will force the government to give Indigenous groups a veto on all economic projects. Legault has often expressed reservations on this point, citing a risk to the integrity of the province and the right Quebec’s self-determination.

Oct. 3, 2019 – Quebec Solidaire submitted a motion unanimously supported by the National Assembly on October 3, which states that the government must “commit to negotiating the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with First Nations and Inuit”.

Sept. 20, 2019 – Viens Commission Final Report “Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Quebec: listening, reconciliation and progress” included recognition and implementation of UNDRIP among its first 3 recommendations of 142 after an official apology to members of First Nations and Inuit “for the harm caused by laws, policies, standards and the practices of public service providers.

Sept. 14, 2019 – François Legault, Leader of Coalition Avenir Quebec in a letter to Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador stated that a CAQ government would implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples with the full collaboration of Indigenous peoples.

Feb. 7, 2017 – Quebec’s Mining Act fails to require consultation or consent from Indigenous nations. On February 1, 2017, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador adopted a unanimous resolution proposed by Barriere Lake condemning the Mining Act of Quebec as “unconstitutional” in regard to Indigenous rights.

Prince Edward Island

June 19, 2020 – Release “Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: 94 Calls to Action: A Status Report for the Government of Prince Edward Island. June 2020” with updates on provinces actions and commitments to each of the Calls to Action.

https://docs.assembly.pe.ca/download/dms?objectId=4704c365-af0e-421b-a069-4db0b8dd021c&fileName=Premier.King.06192020.Truth and reconciliation calls to action-status report.pdf

Northwest Territories

Dec. 2, 2020 – The Intergovernmental Council (IGC), comprised of leaders from nine Indigenous Governments and the Government of the Northwest Territories, unanimously agreed to adopt a Legislative Development Protocol that will guide future collaborative work on NWT land and resource legislation. A shared commitment to work together has been a hallmark of the NWT approach to the devolution of land and resource management from the federal government in 2014. The IGC was created at that time to formalize how NWT governments would work together to manage NWT lands and resources and includes a commitment for all devolution partners to work collaboratively on legislation of shared priority. The Protocol

  • Is consistent with the IGA commitment to collaborate on changes to land and resource management systems, as well as providing a consistent approach for parties to follow.
  • Is the first agreement of its kind in Canada, and provides opportunities for the collaborative development of land and resource statutes and regulations for the GNWT and Indigenous governments.
  • Supports the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by respecting, consulting and collaborating with Indigenous Governments on land and resource management.

A key feature of the Northwest Territories Intergovernmental Agreement on Lands and Resources Management (IGA) is recognition and respect of Aboriginal and Treaty rights

Oct. 25, 2019 – The government of the Northwest Territories has committed to implementing UNDRIP within the constitutional framework of Canada as a legislative priority according to the following timeline:

1.a. Terms of Reference developed (Summer 2020);

  • Working group with Indigenous governments established (Summer 2020);
  • Implementation plan completed (Summer 2022); and
  • Reporting on program changes provided (Ongoing)

1.b. Federal process informs NWT action plan and implementation, including program changes.


Jan. 24, 2016 – Yukon Government’s Deputy Ministers’ Report to the Premier on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Report reaffirms May 2014 Endorsement of  Canada’s 2010 Statement of Support for the declaration. As declaration is not fully consistent with already implemented Final and Self- government Agreements, no initiatives are planned or underway.

Indigenous Responses to Failure of Bill C-262 UNDRIP legislation to pass in the Senate

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami

June 25, 2019 – ITK regrets that “Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)”, died on the order paper. Bill C-262, a private member’s bill, was introduced by NDP MP Romeo Saganash and would ensure that federal laws are brought in line with the UNDRIP. We call on all parties to commit to prioritizing the re-introduction and passage of Bills regarding domestic UNDRIP implementation and incorporating Inuit, First Nations, and Metis into the citizenship oath during the next session of Parliament. We call on all parties to commit to prioritizing the re-introduction and passage of a Bill regarding domestic UNDRIP implementation.

Assembly of First Nations

Sept. 9, 2019 – The AFN identified legislation to implement the UN Declaration “that is at least as strong as Bill C-262” as a key commitment in its document Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada released just before the writ was issued for the 2019 election.
The AFN will work with the current Minority Government to ensure they follow through on the commitment to create federal legislation to implement the UN Declaration. The AFN is urging each party leader to support the tabling of federal legislation implementing the UN Declaration as the first order of business in the First Session of Parliament.

The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL)

June 25, 2019 – The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) deplores that Bill C-262 died on the order paper…. Because of the despicable political partisanship that took precedence over the collective interest, the bill could not be passed by the Senate and then receive royal assent, despite a very reasonable delay of more than a year spent in this institution. “History is repeating itself; our rights are once again being put aside. Some would say we will have to wait on the election to carry on with the fight that stops with the defeat of C-92. Be that as it may, no matter what the outcome of the election may be, we have invested too much already for any government to take us back to square one,” says AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

First Nations Leadership Council

BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit and Union of BC Indian Chiefs)

June 23, 2019 -. The failure to pass C-262 is a clear step backwards for reconciliation across this country. Despite the death of Bill C-262, the UN Declaration has status of customary international law and is fully applicable to Canada without requiring statutory implementation—although the proposal for a national plan in Bill C-262 would have been important for concrete and meaningful progress. The UN Declaration remains a valuable human rights instrument which is guiding better understandings of Indigenous peoples’ human rights and assisting to improve relationships and respect through various other legislative enactments.
The BC Cabinet approved the Commitment Document in 2018 and in follow-up the FNLC is working actively with the Government of BC to co-develop provincial legislation supporting the implementation of the UN Declaration in BC following BC commitments in the 2019 Throne Speech which stated; “This year, government has begun working with First Nations to make sure they are full participants in decision-making that affect their rights and lands. B.C. will be the first province in Canada to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, legislation co-developed with the First Nations Leadership Council and other Indigenous organizations. This legislation will form the foundation for the Province’s work on reconciliation, mandating government to bring provincial laws and policies into harmony with the Declaration.”
The FNLC will continue to work vigorously with governments at all levels, national, provincial and municipal, to fully implement the UN Declaration. In the lead up to and following the October federal election, the FNLC will be advocating for all parties to endorse a renewed UN Declaration implementation in support of this critical human rights instrument. Support for the UN Declaration must be recognized as a non-partisan issue that is critical to achieving true lasting reconciliation across Canada.

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami: Arctic and Northern Policy Framework

Inuit Tapariit Kanatami released their “Position Paper on Arctic Policy Framework”. “The Inuit Nunangat chapter is intended to articulate Inuit priorities for the distinct political, geographic, and cultural region of Inuit Nunangat. The inclusion of an Inuit Nunangat chapter in the document is the most efficient means for ensuring that Inuit priorities are clearly defined and reflected in the APF and, more importantly, guide future investments and activity in our homeland”. The Position Paper identifies the following strategic objectives:

Eliminate the infrastructure deficit in Inuit Nunangat

  • Infrastructure and economic self-reliance

          Strategic Objective: Eliminate the infrastructure deficit in Inuit Nunangat

  • Family violence shelters and transitional housing
  • Addictions treatment centres
  • Social and transitional housing

6.2        Marine and air infrastructure

             Strategic objective: Marine and air infrastructure investments should reflect the    essential role marine and air services have for Inuit Nunangat residents

6.3   Telecommunications

        Strategic objective: Invest in fibre optic connectivity for all Inuit Nunangat communities

6.4    Renewable energy and climate

        Strategic objective: Reduce community diesel reliance by 50 percent by 2030

6.5   Mental health and suicide prevention

        Strategic objective: Significantly reduce Inuit Nunangat suicide rate

6.6   Achieving Inuit Self-determination in Research

        Strategic objective: Advance Inuit self-determination in research by developing and                   implementing an Inuit Nunangat research policy

7.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

Each component of the APF must be viewed as interrelated and interdependent. The core objectives of the APF will not be realized unless each of the components of the APF are carefully coordinated. This means that for the APF to be meaningful for Inuit, the Arctic Policy Statement, the shared Arctic Leadership Framework and the Arctic Financing Strategy each need to reflect meaningful and substantial Inuit input.

2. The APF should recognize Inuit Nunangat as a distinct geographic, cultural, and political region and address Inuit priorities through the application of an Inuit Nunangat policy. This can be accomplished by including Inuit as partners in determining how federal policies, programs, and investments are developed and implemented in our homeland, as committed in the Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit-Crown Partnership.

3. The APF should include an Inuit Nunangat chapter to recognize and ensure that the privileged position of Inuit and Inuit priorities as affirmed in the Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit- Crown Partnership are fully reflected in the document and guide the framework’s actions and investments. This can only be achieved through sustained, fulsome and transparent engagement between the Crown and Inuit.

4. The department of Northern Affairs should build on successful partnerships between Inuit and other federal departments by applying a partnership approach to the co-development of the APF with Inuit. This can be achieved by including ITK, and the Inuit regions as they chose in all meetings pertaining to the development of the APF, sharing draft documents with Inuit for input and refraining from approving or publicly releasing the APF without discussion with, and approval from, Inuit leaders, as committed in the Inuit Nunangat Declaration on Inuit Crown Partnership.

Sept. 20, 2019: ITK delivers chapter of “Arctic and Northern Policy Framework”. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be considered as a framework for new investments in Inuit- identified priorities, and based on acceptance of Inuit Nunangat as a policy, geographic and social space. Based on identified Inuit needs, one need only look at the first six 2030 Sustainable Development Goals to identify the most pressing needs for Inuit in Canada: poverty, hunger, infrastructure, health and wellness, education, gender and housing, including clean water.

Inuit Nunangat priorities for action and investment

1. Infrastructure and economic self-reliance

Overall objective: Eliminate the infrastructure deficit in Inuit Nunangat

        A. Marine and air infrastructure

        B. Telecommunications

        C. Renewable energy and climate

        D. Mental health and suicide prevention

2. Inuit self-determination in research

Strategic objective: Advance Inuit self-determination in research by developing and implementing a national Inuit Nunangat research policy

3. Education

Strategic objective: Close the gap in educational outcomes between Inuit and non-Inuit

4. Wildlife and Food Security

Strategic objective: Inuit will be able to exercise harvesting and wildlife management rights into the foreseeable future.


To Dream Together: Indigenous peoples and human rights dialogue report – Ontario Human Rights Commission, Sept. 2018

This report summarizes key points of the discussion and recommendations arising from this dialogue, which featured the collective wisdom of Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers, academics, political and government leaders, advocates, lawyers, policy makers and activists. Representatives of the OHRC, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario, and the Canadian Human Rights Commission also took part.

Participants discussed several key questions, including:

  • What are Indigenous perspectives of human rights?
  • What might Indigenous world views, constitutions and laws contribute to the ongoing evolution of human rights?
  • How can federal and provincial statutory human rights institutions, including commissions, tribunals and legal service organizations, adapt their processes to better advance Indigenous peoples’ human rights? What, if any, amendments would be required to existing human rights legislationto ensure Indigenous peoples’ human rights are better protected?
  • What are the most effective ways to implement a broad range of human rights set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) at the federal and provincial levels? What legal or policy considerations should be addressed?

Appendix 1: Key Recommendations

Dialogue participants made many recommendations. Here is a summary of the key recommendations, for the OHRC, Ontario and Canadian Human Rights institutions and systems more broadly, all levels of government and other organizations in the business of delivering public services to Indigenous peoples. Some of the recommendations, although directed towards a particular actor (e.g. government, human rights institutions), may be relevant across sectors and organizations. Recommendations do not necessarily reflect the consensus of dialogue participants, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

A. Recommendations for the OHRC (*in addition to all recommendations in B & D below)

  1. Promote understanding and monitoring of UNDRIP in Ontario.
  2. Promote ongoing dialogue about Indigenous peoples’ human rights and UNDRIP implementation.
  3. Amplify Indigenous voices and human rights concerns.
  4. Act as an ally including (where appropriate) helping to support and facilitate Indigenous peoples’ communication with government.
  5. Use the OHRC’s powers to advance systemic policy changes in key institutional areas (e.g. justice, education, child welfare).
    • Analyze and report on Indigenous identity data to monitor and evaluate the state of Indigenous human rights fulfilment.
    • Use public inquiry and legal intervention powers to expose Indigenous human rights violations and enforce Indigenous people’s human rights.
    • Educate and communicate to the public about the impact and benefits of systemic changes resulting from OHRC interventions.
  6. Prioritize, advance and promote Indigenous language rights as a human right, and within the education system.

B. Recommendations for human rights institutions in Canada and Ontario

  1. Use UNDRIP as the organizing framework for understanding, interpreting and implementing Indigenous peoples’ human rights in Canada.
  2. Interpret human rights laws and advance policies in alignment with UNDRIP.
  3. Develop mechanisms to systematically monitor, track and report on UNDRIP implementation.
  4. Promote understanding, translation and use of UNDRIP for domestic human rights duty and rights holders.
  5. Monitor, track and publicly report on organizational best practices respecting, protecting and advancing Indigenous peoples’ human rights. This could include issuing a report card.
  6. Strengthen the human rights system’s capacity to deal with systemic human rights issues, including by creating a separate stream for handling systemic human rights applications.
  7. Give greater emphasis in human rights law, policy and education to collective human rights and responsibilities.

C. Recommendations for governments at all levels in Canada

  1. Use UNDRIP as the organizing framework for understanding, interpreting and implementing Indigenous peoples’ human rights in Canada, including but not limited to “Aboriginal rights” under the Constitution.
  2. Review and amend domestic legislation, including human rights law, to ensure alignment with and accountability for implementation of UNDRIP.  
  3. Consider legislative reform to the Ontario Human Rights Code to better recognize, respect and reflect Indigenous rights and unique constitutional status and to give greater visibility and effect to UNDRIP.
  4. Create a National Action Plan for implementing UNDRIP, in partnership with Indigenous peoples and the provinces and territories.
  5. Develop mechanisms to systematically monitor, track and report on UNDRIP implementation.
  6. Support the development and maintenance of autonomous Indigenous institutions to advance Indigenous human rights.
  7. Strengthen domestic human rights law and policy to better address social, economic and cultural rights.
  8. Equitably fund public services for Indigenous communities and address cultural, linguistic and geographical barriers to service.

D. Recommendations for organizations in general (including government, public, private, non-profit sector and human rights institutions). See also Business and Reconciliation

See also Section 1 (“On walking together, meaningful engagement and reconciliation”) for more general advice in the below respects.

  • Recognize and respect Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty and right to self-determination.
    • Interrogate and transform colonially-shaped organizational paradigms, structures and relations of power underlying and shaping program and service provision.
    • Empower Indigenous peoples and perspectives, including by vacating institutional space to support and make way for Indigenous peoples and organizations to exercise sovereignty in your service area.
  • Engage in ongoing dialogue and relationship-building, as equal partners. Value cultivating and preserving good relationships over (but not necessarily to the exclusion of) short-term actions and deliverables.
  • Increase representation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people at all staff, management and governance levels, and create inclusive, empowering work environments to help ensure Indigenous staff retention.
  • Design and provide services in a culturally and linguistically accessible, relevant and competent manner.
  • Collect Indigenous identity data to monitor and evaluate service access and outcomes for Indigenous peoples

http://ohrc.on.ca/en/dream-together-indigenous-peoples-and-human-rights-dialogue-report – Appendix 1: Key recommendations

Canadian Bar Association

At the Annual Meeting held on February 19 2020 in Ottawa, the CBA carried Resolution 20-02-A The United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples urging governments to:

  • implement the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples via domestic legislation; and
  • consult and cooperate with Indigenous Peoples to:
    • ensure that Canada’s laws and policies comply with the Declaration; and
    • implement national, provincial and territorial action plans to achieve the objectives of the Declaration.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed nation-to-nation, government-to-government and Inuit-Crown relationship based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

In 2016, the Government of Canada announced its full support of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN declaration) without qualification and committed to its full and effective implementation. To implement the UN declaration, a transformative shift in relations with Indigenous peoples is required. Relations must be based on the recognition of Indigenous rights.

Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, the Government of Canada will ensure that federal legislation and policies relevant to Indigenous peoples are based on the recognition and implementation of Indigenous peoples’ rights, including the right of self-determination and the inherent right of self-government. For example, it will continue to engage with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to replace the outdated Comprehensive Land Claims and Inherent Right policies and is committed to take the time needed to get this right.

Engagement is setting the stage for co-development with Indigenous partners of a new rights-based policy. The new policy will concretely advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through the recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights and will align with the UNdeclaration.

The following measures have been undertaken since 2015:

  • endorsed the UN declaration and committed to its full implementation
  • established the Working Group of Ministers on the Review of Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples whose work is now being built upon by the new Cabinet Committee on Reconciliation
  • adopted and released the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples
  • adopted new strategies to pursue negotiation rather than litigation as the preferred path to resolve disputes, including the release of the Directive on Civil Litigation Involving Indigenous Peoples
  • worked with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to co-develop and advance shared priorities