Statement on first annual progress report on implementation of UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

Department of Justice Canada

June 21, 2022 Ottawa, Ontario, Traditional Unceded Algonquin Territory – Department of Justice Canada

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today issued the following statement:

“The coming into force of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act marked a historic milestone in Canada’s collective journey to move forward on reconciliation-one rooted in the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

“The UN Declaration Act requires that the Government of Canada, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, prepare an annual report on measures taken to align the laws of Canada with the UN Declaration, and to develop an action plan to achieve the objectives of the UN Declaration.

“Today I was honoured to table the inaugural annual report regarding progress made on implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

“Since June 2021, the Government of Canada has worked to put the building blocks in place to enable effective implementation of the Act. Progress to date has included the creation and staffing of a new Secretariat within the Department of Justice to fully support the implementation work happening with Indigenous partners and across all Government departments. Early work has concentrated on supporting the participation of Indigenous partners in the UN Declaration Act implementation process, including support for Indigenous-led consultations. Focus has also been on working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to identify their initial priorities to help shape the initial draft of an action plan and to begin to identify potential measures for aligning federal laws with the UN Declaration. Efforts have also been made to educate, inform and advise federal departments on roles and responsibilities as we make progress together.

“This first report is a review of the action taken since the Act became law. It is about accountability. It is about building trust and advancing work on all fronts to implement the Act. We know there is much more to be done and we look forward to continuing this important work in partnership with Indigenous peoples. Working together to advance reconciliation and to implement the UN Declaration will help us all build a brighter, more inclusive future and a better Canada for current and future generations.”

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