Five years ago, the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission stated that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) should form the basis for reconciliation efforts in Canada.
Several religious orders, including the Jesuits of Canada, support a change in legislation to allow the UNDRIP to be incorporated into Canadian legislation. They hope that a bill on this issue can be approved as soon as possible in the Canadian Parliament.
The Jesuit Provincial of Canada, Fr. Erik Oland, wrote to the minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations last September and signed this petition from Faith in the Declaration.
To take action, click here. Thank you for sharing this site and inviting the members of your network to contact their Member of Parliament in support of this bill.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada
The following are among the 46 articles of the UNDRIP:
Indigenous peoples and individuals are free and equal to all other peoples and individuals and have the right to be free from any kind of discrimination, in the exercise of their rights, in particular that based on their indigenous origin or identity. (Article Two)
Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development. (Article Three)
States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned—through their own representative institutions—before adopting and implementing legislative or administrative measures that may affect indigenous peoples, in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent [including prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources]. (Article 19)
The rights recognized in this declaration constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world. (Article 43)
Legislation to ensure that the Government of Canada takes all necessary steps to guarantee that federal laws are consistent with the UNDRIP (Bill C-262) was proposed by Cree NDP MP Romeo Saganash in 2016 and passed in Parliament in 2018. It was then sent to the Senate. During the discussions, the Honourable Peter M. Boehm explained the importance he felt the bill would have:
Honourable senators, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is our sentinel as we move forward toward greater, and hopefully complete, reconciliation. It should serve to guide policy work at all levels of government and will provide that normative legal framework necessary for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples around the world.
The bill unfortunately died in the Senate before the last federal election.
On December 3, 2020, the Liberal government introduced new bill (C-15) to provide a framework for the Government of Canada’s implementation of the Declaration.
“The UN Declaration is a crucial tool for addressing systemic racism and closing the gap in quality of life between First Nations and Canadians. The new bill provides a much-needed framework to put the Declaration into practice.” – Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations National Chief
Besides taking action, we propose the prayer below for the implementation of the UNDRIP in Canada.
Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe for the Implementation of The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego on December 9, 1531 and told him that she was the Mother of the True God, Deus and Teotl, Jesus, in his Indigenous language.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, you appeared as a mestizo woman, and called him my most abandoned son, dignified Juan.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, you told him that you heard the cries and lament of his People and would help them with your compassion, love and protection.
Intercede for us, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to have the dignities, cultures, lands, languages, spiritualities and ways of life of Indigenous Peoples, all gifts from the True God, your Son, Jesus, restored to them.
Intercede for us, Our Lady of Guadalupe, to have the rights enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples enacted by Parliament for the Indigenous Peoples of Canada who long for justice and peace.
Intercede for us, O Blessed Mother, as we pray to you, to soften the hearts and minds of the Members of Parliament and the Senate so that they truly listen to those who seek true justice and fairness for all Indigenous Peoples in Canada.