Implementing United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: Next phase of co-development
March 20, 2023 – Ottawa, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory - Department of Justice Canada
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act marks a historic milestone in Canada’s collective journey of reconciliation — one rooted in the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.
The Act requires the Government of Canada to work in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples to co-develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Declaration as well as take measures to ensure that federal laws are consistent with the Declaration, and to report annually on progress. The action plan must be completed by June 2023.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the next phase of consultation and cooperation on the action plan. This point in the process comes after months of listening to a broad range of Indigenous voices on how to implement the UN Declaration Act.
Phase one, which took place from December 2021 to December 2022, focused on working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, governments and representative organizations to better understand their priorities in order to shape the draft action plan and to begin to identify potential measures for aligning federal laws with the Declaration.
Now, this second phase will consist of further consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples to:
- validate the proposed measures in the draft action plan, modifying them as necessary
- identify any gaps and address them, wherever possible, through additional measures
To do this work, and to further advance the consultation and cooperation process, two documents are being shared publicly and with Indigenous partners: a What We Learned to Date report and a draft action plan.
The What We Learned to Date report captures many of the perspectives, themes and priorities that Indigenous peoples shared during phase one.
The draft action plan includes measures that reflect many of the priorities and proposals shared by Indigenous partners in phase one, grouped by the thematic areas of rights set out in the Act. This draft action plan is a starting point to further support the co-development of a comprehensive and final action plan, to be made public in June 2023. The draft action plan and the What We Learned to Date report will also help support ongoing dialogue with provinces, territories and industry.
The Government of Canada will be working closely with First Nations, Inuit and Métis governing bodies, representative organizations and rights holders over the coming months to complete the action plan in June 2023. The action plan will be another important stepping-stone along the path of upholding and implementing the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is generational work. We are on track to complete the action plan in June, building on what we have learned to date and the draft action plan. Our priority in the coming weeks is to continue to consult and cooperate with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to ensure their priorities are understood, included and acted upon. The final action plan will mark an important milestone, but more importantly, the work we are doing will not end then because we are at the start of this transformational work. Together, we will create a brighter future for present and future generations for Indigenous peoples and, indeed, all of Canada.”
— The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an international human rights instrument that affirms the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous peoples throughout the world.
On June 21, 2021, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act received Royal Assent and became law. The Act requires the development of an action plan to implement the declaration within two years of its adoption.
A broad and inclusive consultation and collaboration process began in December 2021. Phase one ran from December 2021 and December 2022 and phase two will run March 2023 and May 2023.
Phase one generated a range of input, themes, information, measures and recommendations from over 220 virtual sessions and 60 submissions from Indigenous partners.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
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