Member of Parliament Romeo Saganash introduced Bill C-262, An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, otherwise referred to as the UNDRIP Act, in the House of Commons in 2016. It is currently at the stage of second reading in the Senate. The Act would ensure that Canada’s laws are in alignment with UNDRIP.
UNDRIP is a comprehensive statement about the human rights of indigenous peoples. It recognizes the indigenous peoples of the world as a unique cultural demographic, and attempts to provide them with the necessary means of self-determination, as well as describing the related responsibilities of the states in which indigenous peoples reside. UNDRIP recognizes that indigenous peoples have the same universal human rights as all others, in addition to special areas of concern, such as protection of their cultural identity, democratic and judicial rights, economic autonomy and others.
UNDRIP was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 and, at the time, Canada voted against it. It was not until 2016 that it was adopted by Canada and this Bill is the next step, the implementation phase. Recently, the provincial government in British Columbia announced plans to implement UNDRIP within that province. However, despite the work and debate that has gone into Bill C-262 so far, if it does not reach third reading before Parliament is dissolved in June ahead of the federal election in October, it will die.
Senators will be returning from their winter break for the first sitting of this session on Tuesday, February 19th. That makes now a good time to remind them of this Bill and its importance.
What you can do
Write to or phone senators from your province or territory and ask them to support Bill C-262.
This list of senators can be sorted by province. Clicking on the name of an individual senator will take you to their contact information (email and phone number).
Kairos Canada has a list of other ways in which you can take action and encourage senators to support this Bill and move it quickly through the Senate.