If proposed legislation passes, British Columbia will become the first province in Canada to enact the internationally recognized standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (U.N. Declaration) into provincial law. Over time as laws are modified or built, they will be aligned with the U.N. Declaration.
Elements of the bill include:
- A requirement to develop an action plan to meet the objectives of the U.N. Declaration, in collaboration with Indigenous peoples;
- Annual public reporting to monitor progress;
- Discretion for new decision-making agreements between the Province and Indigenous governments where decisions directly affect Indigenous peoples and mechanisms exist in applicable legislation – with clear processes, administrative fairness and transparency; and
- Recognition for additional forms of Indigenous governments in agreement-making, such as multiple Nations working together as a collective, or hereditary governments – as determined and recognized by the citizens of the Nation.
In 2017, every cabinet minister in the B.C. Government was tasked with a mandate to implement the U.N. Declaration and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. A commitment to adopting the U.N. Declaration in B.C. is a component of the Confidence and Supply Agreement with the B.C. Green Party caucus.