VANCOUVER – Today, the Province of British Columbia introduced legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
“The legislation introduced today is an important moment in B.C.’s journey of reconciliation,” said Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender. “The implementation of UNDRIP is an opportunity to reject the colonial relationships of the past in favour of an approach based on equality and respect for human rights. I join many others across the province and across Canada in applauding the work done by the First Nations Leadership Council and the Province of B.C. to co-develop this legislation.”
The legislation sets out a process to align B.C. laws with UNDRIP and provides a provincial legislative framework for recognizing the constitutional and human rights of Indigenous peoples. It requires that the Province develop an action plan and mechanisms for reporting on progress.
The Office of the Human Rights Commissioner for B.C.is responsible for promoting compliance with international human rights obligations, including monitoring and making recommendations on how the Human Rights Code can be interpreted in view of the Province’s commitment to UNDRIP.
“This legislation is only the first step towards the full implementation of UNDRIP. Decolonizing takes courage. Success depends on the concrete actions that will follow to bring B.C. laws into alignment with the U.N. Declaration,” said Commissioner Govender. “My office will be closely monitoring the Province’s action plan in the weeks and months to come, and we will be looking to ensure that the courage shown today by the Province in partnership with First Nations is followed through with a robust action plan.”