Skip to main content Start of content
Start of content

e-2473 (Indigenous affairs)

Initiated by Mark Friesen from saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

  • The United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a supranational agreement created and developed by the UN, has the real potential to seriously compromise our national sovereignty, supersede Canadian law, and give rights to a recognized group in Canada outside of federal legislation, rendering the vast majority of Canadians without rights to large swaths of land;
  • UNDRIP would effectively be interpreted to supersede the current language of Canadian law from "meaningful consultation" to "prior and informed consent", in relation to any development on any hereditary land, disputed or otherwise, essentially giving veto power to hereditary chiefs using traditional law that in fact does not have legal standing within the laws of Canada;
  • Canada has already an effective system of consulting with our First Nations under section 35 of the Constitution Act;
  • The Canadian people, through representation, do not require supranational agreements, treaties, or compacts to effectively ensure the rights of any peoples are protected;
  • Canada is a world leader on human rights and will continue to lead the world in that area; and
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has vowed to re-introduce Bill C-262 on UNDRIP, which was debated during the 42nd Parliament, in the upcoming weeks and months.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to:
1) Vote to fully reject any bill similar to C-262 that would accept a supranational agreement that can and will be interpreted as superseding Canadian law; and
2) Fully reject any bill similar to C-262 and denounce any and all supranational agreements that negatively affect our Canadian sovereignty.

Response by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable David Lametti

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007 after many years of negotiations in which Canada participated actively, along with representatives of Indigenous peoples from Canada and around the globe. The Declaration is the product of almost 25 years of deliberation by UN member states and Indigenous groups. As a comprehensive statement that describes the individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples, the UN Declaration outlines the minimum standards essential for the cultural survival, dignity and well-being of Indigenous peoples around the world (Article 43) but does not prescribe how States ought to implement those rights. The provisions cover a range of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and generally reflects Canada’s existing international human rights commitments. It does not create or grant new rights.

On May 10, 2016, the Government announced its full support of the UN Declaration and committed to implementing it in accordance with the Canadian constitution. Since then, the federal government has taken a number of steps that contribute to the implementation of the UN Declaration including:

  • Working across government to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action;
  • Releasing the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples; and the Attorney General of Canada's Directive on Civil Litigation Involving Indigenous Peoples;
  • Making important socio-economic investments in Indigenous communities and advancing program devolution (education, infrastructure, housing, etc.);
  • Advancing self-determination through rights and recognition tables and the development of a new British Columbia negotiation policy;
  • Establishing mechanisms for cooperation and collaboration, including Permanent Bilateral Mechanisms;
  • Enacting  legislation including the Indigenous Languages Act and the Impact Assessment Act; and
  • Continuing negotiation of modern treaties and self-government agreements that can operationalize the Declaration and empower Indigenous peoples to take control over their own affairs.In 2019, the Minister of Justice, supported by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, was mandated to introduce legislation to implement the UN Declaration. This commitment reflects another important step along our collective journey of reconciliation and an important element of developing inclusive economic recovery strategies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.The key purpose of this initiative is to create a legislative framework for advancing self-determination, self-government, inclusion, economic participation, improved socio-economic and cultural outcomes, and equality for Indigenous peoples within the Canadian constitutional framework. It would create a framework for developing a clearer, more equitable and predictable path forward through processes and mechanisms to ensure that steps are taken over time, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to align federal law and policy to the UN Declaration in a manner that more fully respects, protects, promotes and implements their rights.
Open for signature
April 15, 2020, at 3:32 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
May 15, 2020, at 3:32 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Kevin Waugh (Saskatoon—Grasswood)
May 26, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00214)
Government response tabled
July 20, 2020
Photo - Kevin Waugh
Conservative Caucus
Disclaimer regarding petitions