The International Law Research Program of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, together with the Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre of the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, present this collection of essays discussing how international law, domestic constitutional law and Indigenous peoples’ own laws can work together to bring about full implementation in Canada of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This second report on the theme of braiding international, constitutional and Indigenous laws continues and deepens the conversation broached in the 2017 CIGI Special Report entitled UNDRIP Implementation: Braiding International, Domestic and Indigenous Laws.
Since the Government of Canada’s “embrace” of UNDRIP at the UN Permanent Forum of Indigenous Peoples in May 2016, much has happened to set the stage for an ambitious implementation agenda. The federal Department of Justice has articulated 10 “Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples,” while other federal departments have taken steps to work with Indigenous peoples in the development of policy on such matters as climate change, environmental assessment reform, international trade, intellectual property law reform and protection of traditional knowledge, and preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages. Bill C-262, introduced as a private member’s bill by MP Romeo Saganash, passed in the House of Commons and proceeded to the Senate earlier this year. Yet actual progress on the implementation of UNDRIP remains slow and largely illusory.
Implementation of UNDRIP into both the international and domestic legal landscape will require legal change to recognize and accommodate different legal orders. Contributors to this report examine the potential opportunities and risks entailed in trying to bring coherence and harmony into the strands of international law, domestic law and Indigenous peoples’ own laws, while taking seriously nation-to-nation relations and reconciliation.