UN Declaration and climate justice
Yesterday (September 13) marked the anniversary of the UN General Assembly’s adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration) in 2007. The UN Declaration protects collective rights that may not be addressed in other human rights charters that emphasize individual rights, and it also safeguards the individual rights of Indigenous people.
In 2016, Romeo Saganash of the New Democratic Party tabled a private member’s bill, C-262, which would have required the Government of Canada to take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws in Canada are in harmony with the UN Declaration. The Bill died as a result of filibustering by a small group of Senators.
A legislative framework to fully implement the UN Declaration is needed urgently. This would bring a significant transformation to the lives of Indigenous peoples. Full implementation would advance climate justice by:
- Affirming Indigenous peoples’ rights to protection of the environment – to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship to the land and water and uphold their responsibility to future generations;
- Recognizing Aboriginal title held by Indigenous peoples, which could bring about more reciprocal relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to co-exist and share resources;
- Enacting the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), which would require governments to acknowledge Indigenous governments as formal decision makers and further the establishment of co-management mechanisms.
Today’s resources dive deeper into the UN Declaration and our action today calls on the Minister of Justice to legislate the UN Declaration in Canada without further delay.
Today we explore resources from the Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which is made up of Indigenous nations and representative organizations, human rights groups and faith communities, including KAIROS. The Coalition promotes the full and effective implementation of the UN Declaration.
The Coalition for the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples is urging the federal Minister of Justice to table legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as soon as Parliament convenes this fall.
You can send a message to the Minister of Justice through this tool developed by the Mennonite Central Committee.