United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Canada has committed to a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, and rooted in the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
About the declaration
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a document that describes both individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples around the world. It offers guidance on cooperative relationships with Indigenous peoples to states, the United Nations, and other international organizations based on the principles of equality, partnership, good faith and mutual respect. It addresses the rights of Indigenous peoples on issues such as:
Find out more in the full text of the declaration.
The declaration was adopted by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on September 13, 2007.
Canada's endorsement of the declaration
In November 2010, Canada issued a Statement of Support endorsing the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In November 2015, the Prime Minister of Canada asked the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and other ministers, in the mandate letters, to implement the declaration.
In May 2016, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced Canada is now a full supporter, without qualification, of the declaration.
What is a United Nations declaration?
A United Nations General Assembly declaration is a document expressing political commitment on matters of global significance. A declaration is not legally binding, unlike a treaty or a covenant. Declarations are not signed or ratified by states.
Declarations can be adopted by consensus or by vote. States have three options when voting. They can either:
- vote in favour of adopting the declaration
- vote against adopting the declaration
- abstain from voting
Declarations only represent political commitment from the states that vote in favour of adopting them.
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