Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is about the respect and recognition of the human rights of Indigenous Peoples around the world. Indigenous leaders from Canada helped develop the Declaration, which took almost 25 years to complete.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UN Declaration Act) came into force on June 21, 2021. This Act provides a roadmap for the Government of Canada and Indigenous Peoples to work together to implement the Declaration. This work is based on reconciliation, healing, cooperation and partnership.

The UN Declaration Act Action Plan was released on June 21, 2023. This whole-of-government, five-year plan includes 181 measures to initiate work towards implementing the UN Declaration, including measures ensuring the consistency of federal laws.

Parks Canada has five measures within the Shared priorities chapter of the Action Plan. These Action Plan measures are aimed at recognizing and enabling Indigenous peoples’ rights and responsibilities in stewarding lands, water and ice within their traditional territories, treaty lands and ancestral homelands.

Specifically, the Action Plan measures address:

They also commit to aligning Parks Canada legislation with the UN Declaration.

These measures were developed based on priorities communicated to Parks Canada over many decades, through relationships with Indigenous partners as well as more recently through engagement with Indigenous communities, organizations and governments in relation to the UN Declaration Act Action Plan and the proposed Indigenous stewardship framework.

Parks Canada will work with Indigenous partners to co-design tools to implement the Action Plan measures. Any new policies and programs will be developed and implemented through place-based approaches that are respectful of specific Indigenous systems of knowledge, governance and law, Indigenous cultures and relationships, as well as local Parks Canada contexts.

The adoption and implementation of the UN Declaration, and the development of an Action Plan to achieve its goals, respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action 43 and 44. To learn more, visit Delivering on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Learn more about the Government of Canada’s progress in implementing the UN Declaration

Annual progress reports (Department of Justice Canada)

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