Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Urges Canada to Accelerate the Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Following Annual Report

Published: Jun 24, 2024Press Release

(June 24, 2024 – Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ottawa, Ontario) – Today, the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief, Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, called on the Government of Canada to accelerate progress toward fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDA). This follows the tabling of the third annual report by the Honourable Arif Virani, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, which assesses the status of the UNDA Action Plan and its 181 Action Plan Measures to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

“This annual report highlights some important advancements made by Canada, yet First Nations and their governments still face barriers to implementing laws, policies, and regulations that affirm our rights, title, and jurisdiction,” said National Chief Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak. “First Nations must be supported with the necessary resources to work in partnership with Canada.”

“It is disappointing that we have not moved further ahead in accelerating the recognition of this important human rights framework. There is a need for enhanced coordination and whole-of-government approaches between federal departments, along with transparent plans and commitments to addressing priorities. We lift up provinces such as British Columbia for their efforts in implementing similar legislation and urge all provinces and territories to work with First Nations to make the Action Plan a reality. The AFN looks forward to continuing to support First Nations as they advance this work with Canada.”

The AFN is mandated by several resolutions from First Nations-in-Assembly to advocate for the implementation of the UN Declaration, including Resolution 12/2022, Call for Full First Nations Participation in the Implementation of the UN Declaration, which advocates for free, prior, and informed consent in all of Canada’s efforts to align its laws with the UN Declaration.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern. 

Contact information:

Jon Adam Chen
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
(343) 573-2229 (mobile)
[email protected]

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary
Office of the National Chief
(613) 612-7229 (mobile)
[email protected]