UN Declaration

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly on September 13, 2007.


Pocket size copies of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are available in both French and English. They are available by contacting the office.

Mennonite Central Committee has done another on-line readable version of the Declaration. See the following link:






Les Malezer, Chair of the Global Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, and Victoria Tauli Corpuz, Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the General Assembly.

Photo: Stefan Disko




Here are useful education resources to learn about the Declaration. All of these resources are meant to inform and engage people.  In particular, we wish to show that the Declaration is honoured, celebrated, and increasingly being implemented.

The objections of the government of Canada, both domestically and in other international forums, are exposed as being unsubstantiated and ideologically based. For Canada to continue opposing the Declaration shows a lack of international cooperation and a disregard for international human rights.


Voices from the UN, International Agencies, States, NGO's and Indigenous Peoples on the UN Declaration.




Les Malezer, Chair of the Global Indigenous Peoples' Caucus, addresses the General Assembly after the vote.

Photo: Stefan Disko



  • Canada’s endorsement of the UN Declaration must be consistent with human rights (March 18, 2010)

Statement in response to the Throne Speech: in English, en Francais

  • Open Letter Signed by Experts May 1, 2008 re: UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - Canada Needs to Implement This New Human Rights Instrument. The UN Declaration - Expert sign-on statement May 1 open letter has been signed by more than 100 legal and academic experts across Canada. This was accompanied by a Press Statement from Indigenous and human rights organizations. Legal scholars and experts urge Canadian Government to abandon "erroneous" and "misleading" opposition to UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples


An event at the former Commission on Human Rights in Geneva to promote the UN Declaration in April 2005. Left to right: Willie Littlechild, Dalee Sambo Dorough, Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Rachel Brett, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, Mililani Trask.

Photo: Craig Benjamin



  • Statements By The Government Of Canada And Some Brief Responses: This critically examines the arguments presented by Canada on the UN Declaration. A legal response shows that, in fact, Canada cannot justify the objections to the Declaration. In English and French.



Indigenous representatives at the UN.

Joan Carling, Jose Carlos Morales

and Adelfo Regino Montes.

Photo: Jennifer Preston



  • Global Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – and Canada’s Increasing Isolation -- Released on the eve of the 2nd anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations, a new report shows governments and institutions around the world are moving ahead with implementation of this human rights instrument.  Access Report here. Access accompanying News Release here.



Amnesty International hosts a 24-hour drum marathon on Victoria Island in support of the UN Declaration.

Photo: Craig Benjamin









  • Shame on Canada for opposing the UN Indigenous Peoples Declaration:

An article in The Lawyers Weekly by Alex Neve, General Secretary of Amnesty International Canada.

  • An in-depth law article by  Paul Joffe, “UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Canadian Government Positions Incompatible with Genuine Reconciliation” (2010) 26 N.J.C.L. 121. Reprinted by permission of Carswell, a division of Thomson Reuters Canada Limited.

  • The Implementation Gap

Report of the Symposium entitled "Closing the Implementation Gap", organized at the request of the former UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of Indigenous people, Rodolfo Stavenhagen. The purpose was to review responses to his 2004 mission to Canada and report to the Commission on Human Rights.

The report illustrates the will and capacity of Indigenous peoples and civil society to be part of the process of identifying indicators's and strategies for implementation of the recommendations of the special mechanisms and treaty bodies.

Left: Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen, Alex Neve of Amnesty International Canada

Right: Willie Littlechild

Photos: Craig Benjamin