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Progress made with UNDRIP implementation highlighted - webinar

Author(s): Marleigh Dick, Ankita Gupta

Feb 28, 2023

Recent developments relating to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (UNDRIP) implementation and a court decision with possible implications for energy or construction projects in Indigenous communities were the key points for discussion during the February Indigenous Law Insights webinar, hosted by Litigation Group associates Marleigh Dick and Ankita Gupta.

The spirit of UNDRIP, the non-binding international instrument which supports the well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world, is reflected in both the federal government’s United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and B.C.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.  In June 2022, the federal government published an annual report which sets out the timelines and required steps for completion of its action plan by June of this year. In that same month, the B.C. government entered into its first consent-based decision-making agreement with the Tahltan Nation. A few months later, the B.C. government released an interim approach which sets out a process for engaging with Indigenous Peoples in policy and legislative development.

In Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. v. Canada (Energy Regulator), Manitoba brought a notice of application against Manitoba Hydro for not fulfilling certain commitments stated in the construction certificate. Manitoba’s Governor in Council had included further commitments after supplementary consultation with Indigenous groups. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that, while a party may place a record of commitment while developing the certificate, the other party must agree to the commitment for it to be legally binding. In this case, Manitoba Hydro would have had to agree to the commitments Manitoba Métis had put on the record either during the development of the certificate or during the provincial environmental assessment to come within the scope of the certificate.

Watch the full webinar