British Columbia: Building relationships with Indigenous peoples

As part of its work to create true and lasting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in B.C., the provincial government has committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and adopting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.

The B.C. government is working to address the consequences of colonial policies which have had lasting effects on all Indigenous peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

In 2017, all provincial ministries were tasked with moving forward on the calls to action and finding ways to implement the UN Declaration by reviewing government’s policies, programs and legislation. Implementation of these commitments is being done in partnership with Indigenous peoples.

Key to reconciliation is building government-to-government relationships with Indigenous peoples that are based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

British Columbia made history on November 28, 2019, when the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (Declaration Act) became law. Through this ground-breaking legislation, B.C. is the first jurisdiction in Canada to formally adopt the internationally recognized standards of the UN Declaration through legislation. The Declaration Act establishes the UN Declaration as the framework for reconciliation, as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The Government of British Columbia’s Draft Principles that Guide the Province of British Columbia’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples works alongside the legislation to are helping guide all public service employees as they continue to build relationships with Indigenous peoples based on respect and recognition of inherent rights.

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