The B.C. government’s promised legislation on Indigenous rights is expected to be tabled Thursday and, if passed, would make the province the first in Canada to legally implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
In the months since Premier John Horgan committed to the legislation a team from the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation has been working with the First Nations Leadership Council to draft the historic bill.
Indigenous leaders from across the province are expected to be at the B.C. Legislature today, on what is being called a historic day.
The legislation is meant to provide a framework for the province to align its laws with the standards of the UN declaration — something Indigenous groups have long been advocating for in B.C. and across the country.
Jody Wilson-Raybould, the newly elected Independent MP and former Liberal cabinet minister, said the country needs to create mechanisms to enable Indigenous people to be self-determining, something she will push for when she returns to her Ottawa work.
“I’m going to continue to be a strong voice, to advocate for rights recognition in the country much like the province of British Columbia is doing today,” Wilson-Raybould said in a phone interview on CBC’s The Early Edition Thursday.
In B.C., Horgan campaigned on a promise to legislate UNDRIP, and his throne speech reiterated the government’s commitment.
“We need to address reconciliation in British Columbia, not just for social justice … but for economic equality for all citizens, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”