BCLI Primers on UNDRIP, the Declaration Act, and Indigenous Law

As part of the Reconciling Crown Legal Frameworks (RCLF) Program, the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has released the first in a series of primers aimed at providing information on law reform issues related to BC’s adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (“Declaration Act”):

For more information on UNDRIP, the Declaration Act, and Indigenous law, check out these resources from Courthouse Libraries BC:

Indigenous Peoples and the law in Canada: cases and commentary / First Peoples Law

KM208.I5A111C3512 2023

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Indigenous Peoples and the Law in Canada: Cases and Commentary, 2023 is written by experienced Aboriginal law practitioners at First Peoples Law.

It features the Indian Act and selected regulations, accompanied by hundreds of annotations and section-by-section summaries of all significant court decisions interpreting or applying the legislation.

Along with all this, it incorporates annotations of case law under section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867 (division of powers), sections 2, 15 and 25 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (fundamental freedoms, equality rights, and Aboriginal rights and freedoms not affected by the Charter), and section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 (Aboriginal and Treaty rights) including essays on the top issues in Indigenous rights law in 2022.

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: a commentary / Jessie Hohmann and Marc Weller

KM208.I5H64 2018

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The rights of indigenous peoples under international law have seen significant change in recent years, as various international bodies have attempted to address the question of how best to protect and enforce their rights. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is the strongest statement thus far by the international community on this issue. The Declaration was adopted by the United Nations on 13 September 2007, and sets out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education, and other issues. While it is not a legally binding instrument under international law, it represents the development of international legal norms designed to eliminate human rights violations against indigenous peoples, and to help them in combating discrimination and marginalisation. This commentary on the Declaration analyses both the substantive content of the Declaration and the position of the Declaration within existing international law. It considers the background to the text of every Article of the Declaration, including the travaux préparatoire, the relevant drafting history, and the context in which the provision came to be included in the Declaration. It sets out each provision's content, interpretation, its relationship with other principles of international law, and its legal status, and also discusses the significance and outlook for each of the rights analysed. The book assesses the practice of relevant regional and international bodies in enforcing the rights of indigenous peoples, providing an understanding of the practical application of the Declaration's principles.

Key developments in Aboriginal law, volume 2 / Thomas F. Issac

KM208.I5I8223 2021

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Key Developments in Aboriginal Law, Volume 2 outlines insightful and current information on the significant developments in Canadian Aboriginal Law that have occurred over the last year. This work covers the complexities of the Aboriginal Law landscape that affect numerous areas of law, including mining, energy, and constitutional, amongst others.

This edition of Key Developments in Aboriginal Law, Volume 2, focuses on varying themes and perspectives involved in reconciliation. The following are the titles of some of the articles and their author(s):

  • Called to Action: Impact of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls on the Resource Extraction Sector by Emilie N. Lahaie and Grace Wu
  • Indigenous Litigation, the Rule of Law and the Public Interest in Reconciliation by Paul E. Yearwood
  • The Regulation of Retail Cannabis on First Nation Reserves and the Right to Self-Determination by David Hansford and Forrest Finn
  • Injunctions and Blockades: "Self-Help Remedies" and the Centering of the Canadian Legal Perspective by Nikita Rathwell
  • British Columbia's Enactment of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: A Step Towards Reconciliation? by Thomas Isaac and Grace Wu

Standoff: why reconciliation fails Indigenous people and how to fix it / Bruce McIvor

KM208.I5M358 2021

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Faced with a constant stream of news reports of standoffs and confrontations, Canada’s “reconciliation project” has obviously gone off the rails. In this series of concise and thoughtful essays, lawyer and historian Bruce McIvor explains why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is failing and what needs to be done to fix it.

Widely known as a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights, McIvor reports from the front lines of legal and political disputes that have gripped the nation. From Wet’suwet’en opposition to a pipeline in northern British Columbia, to Mi’kmaw exercising their fishing rights in Nova Scotia, McIvor has been actively involved in advising First Nation clients, fielding industry and non-Indigenous opposition to true reconciliation, and explaining to government officials why their policies are failing.

McIvor’s essays are honest and heartfelt. In clear, plain language he explains the historical and social forces that underpin the development of Indigenous law, criticizes the current legal shortcomings and charts a practical, principled way forward.

By weaving in personal stories of growing up Métis on the fringes of the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba and representing First Nations in court and negotiations, McIvor brings to life the human side of the law and politics surrounding Indigenous peoples’ ongoing struggle for fairness and justice. His writing covers many of the most important issues that have become part of a national dialogue, including systemic racism, treaty rights, violence against Indigenous people, Métis identity, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and the duty to consult.

McIvor’s message is consistent and powerful: if Canadians are brave enough to confront the reality of the country’s colonialist past and present and insist that politicians replace empty promises with concrete, meaningful change, there is a realistic path forward based on respect, recognition and the implementation of Indigenous rights.

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