This Fight Continues!

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called Canada to adopt and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as “the framework for reconciliation" (Call to Action #43). For the last 4 years, Canadians from coast to coast have championed Bill C-262, a transformative piece of legislation that will ensure that Canada’s laws are in harmony with the Declaration.

Through incredible grassroots advocacy and persuasion, 262 was passed by the House of Commons and made it all the way to 3rd reading in the Senate. However, on June 21st, 2019 (National Indigenous Peoples Day), 262 "died on the order paper" because of the obstruction of a handful of Conservative Senators.

Yet there is good news!

  • The conversation around the UN Declaration has dramatically shifted in Canada—for the better. More and more people recognize the importance of respecting these "minimum standards for the survival, dignity, and well-being the Indigenous peoples of the world."
  • The government leader in the Senate, Peter Harder, announced that the Liberals will support government legislation to implement the UN Declaration. This would not have happened without the powerful 262 movement that we created. Now all major political parties, except the Conservatives, support a legislative framework for the Declaration!


This fight continues! 

For over 35 years, Indigenous Peoples have been pushing for the Declaration and the recognition of their inherent rights. The time has come for us to make this a reality here in Canada. As we head into the October 21st Federal election, we call upon the Canadian government to reconcile its laws so that they are in line with the just and peaceable standards of the Declaration.

Will you add your voice to our movement? Can you join us as we move forward on a path, not just towards reconciliation, but one of equality and justice? Will you take action to #passbillc262?



Here are 2 important actions you can take in 4 minutes to support Bill C-262! We'll update these after the October 21st election, so stay tuned.

  • Ask your current Member of Parliament & the candidates in your riding—"Will you commit to the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada by supporting a government bill that meets or exceeds the provisions of Bill C-262?" 


  • Take a photo of yourself (or with your community group) showing your support of Bill C262, and post to social media. “I support Bill C-262!” "We support Indigenous rights!" Use the hashtags #passBillC262 #UNDRIP #SenCA. If it's helpful, you can download a #PassBillC262 poster here.



New Mini-Doc!

We've created a new 12-minute mini-documentary that shares the struggle to adopt and implement the Declaration in Canada.

Check it out here—This Fight Continues! 262 & the Declaration

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    Sign the petition!

    5,373 signatures

    In 1982, the United Nations began work on a document to protect the human rights of Indigenous Peoples globally. It took them 25 years to finish that work.

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was eventually adopted by the UN in 2007 – with Canada voting against it. It was finally endorsed by Canada in 2010.

    Canada has stated that they would put into place the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which call for the Declaration to be adopted and implemented.

    Canada now has the chance to become a world leader upholding Indigenous rights by fully standing behind this seminal document.

    This Declaration would go a long way to establishing a new relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, and go a long way to improving the lives of Indigenous Peoples.

    We call upon the Canadian government to fully adopt and implement the Declaration, and stand up for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We call on Canada to adopt Bill C-262 to this effect.

    Will you sign?

  • Latest from the blog


    The Road to Reconciliation Starts with the UN Declaration

    When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded its work almost four years ago, it provided a road map for Canadians to follow. That road map, the 94 Calls to Action, aims to “revitalize the relationship between Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian society” after more than 100 years of the traumatic and systemic removal of Indigenous children from their families.

    Call No. 43 underpinned all others, according to the commission. The commission urged federal, provincial and territorial governments to fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They called it “the framework” for all reconciliation measures “at all levels and across all sectors of society.”

    It’s extremely rare for international human rights standards to even be mentioned in the Canadian policy debate. However, when Canada voted against the declaration in 2007 at the United Nations, it was the first time that Canada had ever stood in opposition to an international human rights standard.

    It remains today the only international human rights standard in Canada up for debate. [To continue reading this article by Sheryl Lightfoot, please click here—The Road to Reconciliation]


    Image result for aboriginal constitution canada

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    Next Session of Parliament Must Prioritize Protection & Fulfillment of the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and numerous reports by international human rights bodies have all documented the profound and tragic harms that have resulted from Canada’s colonial laws and policies. Ongoing adverse impacts include denial of Indigenous systems of governance, jurisdiction and laws; dispossession of lands, territories and resources; the ongoing tragedy of Indigenous lives brutally cut short; essential opportunities denied to Indigenous children and youth; and the lack of adequate financial and other assistance to maintain and revitalize Indigenous cultures, traditions and languages in the face of continued threats.

    All these bodies have called on federal and other governments to heal the harm and build positive relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.  Canada must act now to fully safeguard and implement the fundamental human rights and protections affirmed in the United Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    In the last session of Parliament, Senate filibustering prevented the passage of Bill C-262, a private member’s Bill that would have established a legislative framework to guide the work of implementing the Declaration. This was despite the fact that Bill C-262 had been debated and adopted by the House of Commons in 2018 and that all parties in the House had subsequently joined in a unanimous, non-partisan motion calling on the Senate to pass Bill C-262 into law.

    While our Nations and organizations were profoundly disappointed that the opportunity to adopt this crucial legislation was so cavalierly squandered, an important foundation has been established. The next session of Parliament must build on this foundation by prioritizing the earliest possible adoption of government legislation that fully reflects or exceeds Bill C-262. Key elements would include:

    • Repudiation of colonial laws, policies and doctrines.
    • A commitment to work collaboratively with Indigenous peoples in every aspect of implementation of the Declaration.
    • A process to reform federal laws, policies and regulations to ensure they meet or exceed the minimum standards set out in the Declaration.
    • A commitment to develop a national action plan for collaborative implementation of the Declaration’s provisions.
    • A requirement for regular reporting to Parliament so that there is transparency and accountability for the progress made.

    The Declaration was adopted by the UN General Assembly 12 years ago, on September 13, 2007. The Declaration’s provisions reflect the way that existing human rights protections, including legally binding international treaties, have been interpreted and applied by international and regional human rights bodies. In other words, Canada’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights affirmed in the Declaration is well-established and concrete measures to implement these provisions are long overdue.

    The Declaration is not abstract or merely aspirational. It affirms the minimum standards urgently needed to address and heal the harms inflicted on Indigenous peoples by a long history of racist and discriminatory laws, policies, and practices.

    2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. In this important year, we can look to the Declaration for guidance on language rights:

    Article 13 affirms the right of Indigenous peoples to “revitalize, use, develop and transmit to future generations their histories, language, oral traditions, philosophies, writing systems and literatures and to designate and retain their own names for communities, places and persons.” Article 14 states that “Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning.” The Declaration also calls on states to take effective measures, including through funding and other assistance, to ensure the “full realization” of these rights.

    This is merely one example of using the Declaration effectively to guide the promotion and protection of Indigenous peoples’ human rights.

    Accordingly, our Nations and Organizations are calling on all candidates in the federal election to commit to:

    1. Supporting the earliest possible adoption of a federal legislative framework for implementation of the Declaration that, at a minimum, provides the essential implementation measures set out in C-262
    2. Advocating for adequate, sustained funding for Indigenous peoples’ organizations, including cultural centres working at the community level, to support, reclaim, revitalize and maintain Indigenous languages.


    The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples (

    This statement was endorsed by the following organizations and individuals:

    Amnesty International Canada / Amnistie Internationale Canada

    Assembly of First Nations

    Assemblée des Premières Nations du Québec et Labrador / Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador

    BC Assembly of First Nations

    Canadian Friends Service Committee (Quakers)

    First Nations Summit

    Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)

    Indigenous-Settler Relations, Mennonite Church Canada

    Indigenous World Association

    KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

    Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs

    Dr. Sheryl Lightfoot, Canada Research Chair of Global Indigenous Rights and Politics, University of British Columbia

    Dr. Wilton Littlechild, IPC, former TRC Commissioner. 

    Dr. Mariam Wallet Aboubakrine, Expert Member, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

    For more information on implementation of the UN Declaration, please see our factsheets at Declaration Coalition.

    • Interpreting the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    • Myths and Misrepresentations about the UN Declaration and Bill C-262
    • Free, Prior and Informed Consent FAQ
    Read more

    Election Resource: Indigenous Rights

    Few people are in greater need of human rights protection than Indigenous peoples. Globally, about 370 million Indigenous people face widespread systemic discrimination, impoverishment, ill health, and dispossession of their lands and resources. Although governments have a duty and responsibility to ensure the welfare and safety of all their citizens, Indigenous peoples are often subject to policies that erode or suppress their rights and distinct cultural identities. Canada is no exception. 

    Legislation based on the UN Declaration is critical for reconciliation in Canada.   

    Questions for Candidates: 

    • Will you commit to the implementation of the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada by supporting a government bill as strong as Bill C-262? 
    • How do you plan to support local First Nation, Métis or Inuit communities?  
    • How will you create positive change for Indigenous communities? 
    • How do you plan to empower Indigenous peoples in Canada? 


    To read more, click here KAIROS ELECTION RESOURCE.


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    Romeo Saganash's Statement on Human Rights: C-262

    In 2011, I set myself the task of advancing Indigenous rights, as defined by knowledge keepers and elders, into Canadian politics. I introduced a bill, now known as C-262, in two separate parliaments, under different Prime Ministers, and worked with the hundreds of people elected to represent Canadians. Over the past two parliamentary mandates I have been given, I have worked diligently to promote human rights and Indigenous values not just in bill C- 262 but in every piece of legislation that passed my desk.

    Read more