What is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?

1. The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is an international human rights instrument adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007 after more than two decades of negotiations.

2. The Declaration affirms the inherent or pre- existing collective human rights of Indigenous peoples, as well as the individual human rights of Indigenous women, men and children. It provides a framework for justice and reconciliation, applying existing human rights standards to the specific historical, cultural and social circumstances of Indigenous peoples.

3. In its preamble, the UN Declaration is described as “a standard of achievement to be pursued in a spirit of partnership and respect.” Indeed, it reinforces the Treaty relationships that exist between Indigenous peoples and the Crown and which form “the basis for a strengthened partnership…”