United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


The rights of Indigenous peoples received recognition on the world stage in September of 2007 when the United Nations adopted its Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

But Canada did not commit to fully adopting it until 2016.

The UN Declaration, which was passed, places additional pressure on the Crown to actually hold true to its stated objective that federal government agencies will continue to uphold their obligations to respecting the rights of Indigenous peoples.



International Law

International law, particularly the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples demands that governments secure “free prior and informed consent” for projects. Meaning the Canadian Government, by International Law, needs to consult the Mi’gmaq people about projects happening on their native territory. In our case, Mi’gma’gi.

The phrase ‘free, prior and informed’ consent appears six separate times in the UN declaration. Article 19, for example, states that governments “shall consult and cooperate in good faith with indigenous peoples concerned through their own representatitive institutions in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative administrative measures that may affect them.”




What happened after formally implementing the UNDRIP in 2016?

In 2017, the Canadian Government announced the development of the 10 principles which is meant to guide the government’s Indigenous law and policy review, based on the Canadian Constitution and UNDRIP.