I fully support your government’s commitment to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Implementation of the Declaration in Canadian law and policy would provide a framework for addressing profound injustices toward First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and help prevent such violations in the future. It would also set a positive example for governments around the world.
Unfortunately, your government continues to make decisions that are contrary to the Declaration and other international standards, such as supporting development projects that don’t have the consent of Indigenous peoples or failing to ensure equitable access to basic government services.
I urge the Government of Canada to demonstrate the sincerity of its commitment to upholding the UN Declaration by:
• Working with Indigenous peoples to develop a concrete and comprehensive national plan of action for its full implementation.
• Establishing a timetable of regular reporting to Parliament on progress toward implementation.
• Seeking expert advice independent of government to ensure that Canada’s international human rights obligations are properly understood and fully upheld in any reform of laws and policies.
• Making a public commitment that, prior to such reform, the government will strive to interpret and apply current law and policies in a manner consistent with the Declaration.