Rob Shaw: B.C. introduces sweeping action plan to turn Indigenous rights legislation DRIPA into reality

Nicholas Pescod/CHEK News
WatchB.C. introduces sweeping action plan to turn Indigenous rights legislation DRIPA into reality. Rob Shaw explains.
File photo.

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government has released a five-year action plan towards implementing its law on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The government’s report, which includes 89 goals, says the province is committed to changing the trajectory of history through coherent, concrete and co-operative action with Indigenous Peoples.

In 2019, B.C. was the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt the declaration, which requires governments to obtain free, prior and informed consent before taking actions that affect Indigenous Peoples and their lands.

The government’s action plan follows four central themes: self-determination and the right of self-government; title and rights of Indigenous Peoples; ending Indigenous-specific racism; and social, cultural and economic well-being.

The goals in the action plan include establishing a secretariat to help government ensure legislation is consistent with the declaration, conducting an Indigenous-specific racism review in the province’s education system and reviewing the process for naming municipalities and regional districts.

The report says the government also aims to train and hire more Indigenous teachers for the public school system.

“The action plan is meant to help everyone who lives in B.C. understand the importance of reconciliation and how it will help the province achieve its greatest social, cultural and economic potential,” says the report.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2022.

Rob ShawRob Shaw

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