Statement on the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


September 13, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory - Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, today issued the following statement:

“After decades of work led by Indigenous leaders from Canada and across the globe, on this day 15 years ago, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) was adopted by the General Assembly. A majority of member states now endorse the UN Declaration. 

“The UN Declaration establishes an international framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous peoples around the world. It speaks of how the recognition of rights will enhance harmonious and cooperative relations between States and Indigenous peoples, based on the principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith.

“Demonstrating Canada’s commitment to the UN Declaration, on June 21, 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act became law in Canada. This Act creates a lasting framework to advance federal implementation of the UN Declaration in consultation and cooperation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis from coast to coast to coast. 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.

“Now, in partnership with Indigenous peoples, we are working on measures to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the UN Declaration and on an action plan to achieve its objectives. The current phase of this process focuses on working in partnership with Indigenous peoples to better understand their priorities. An action plan will be completed based on the priorities identified by Indigenous peoples and a whole-of-government collaboration by June 2023.

“Work to implement the UN Declaration federally includes supporting Indigenous visions of self-determination and better and more equitable economic, social, and health outcomes. Together, we will continue to help develop a stronger, more sustainable, and predictable path for everyone to work together as partners with a shared stake in Canada’s future.”   

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For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

Justine Leblanc
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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