UNDRIP Legislation

The Province has introduced legislation establishing a process to implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Bill 41, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, was developed in collaboration with the First Nations Leadership Council.

The legislation states that “the government must take all measures necessary to ensure the laws of British Columbia are consistent with” UNDRIP. To achieve this, it sets in place a requirement that the Province prepare and implement an action plan, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples. To ensure progress and accountability, it also requires the filing of an annual report outlining progress that has been made towards achieving the goals of the action plan. Upon announcing the legislation, the Province stated that their intent is to bring laws into alignment with UNDRIP over time as they are modified or built. 

To further support self-determination and work towards reconciliation, the legislation would also allow the Province to negotiate and enter into agreements with Indigenous governing bodies. Indigenous governing bodies are broadly defined in the legislation, to enable the recognition of forms of government such as multiple Nations working together as a collective, or hereditary governments. 

When negotiating such agreements, the Province will be required to “make public a summary of the local governments and other persons the member intends to consult before or during the negotiation”, within 15 days of the Lieutenant Governor in Council authorizing the negotiation. 

UBCM membership has voiced their support for UNDRIP through resolution 2015-B106 calling on the Province and Federal Government to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations, and through resolutions referencing and supporting work towards specific elements of UNDRIP (2018-B149, 2018-B150). 

While supporting UNDRIP, members have consistently called for collaboration and information sharing on initiatives that may impact local government jurisdiction, including via resolution 2019-A4 which seeks “a clear delineation of the responsibilities of local governments in relation to the implementation” of processes related to UNDRIP.  

In 2018, UBCM and the Province signed an updated MOU that commits the Province to engaging with UBCM and local governments in a timely manner on Treaty Agreements, Non-Treaty Agreements and Indigenous Initiatives, including issues related to the adoption and implementation of UNDRIP. UBCM, as supported by the MOU, will continue to seek opportunities for engagement and to clarify implications of the new legislation for local governments. 

Meta Navigation