Dene National Chief applauds B.C. decision to implement UNDRIP, calls on GNWT to do the same

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya. (File photo/CKLB).

Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya congratulated the British Columbia government for moving ahead with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Last week, B.C. became the first jurisdiction in Canada to introduce legislation that would bring its laws and policies in line with UNDRIP.

What that looks like in practice remains to be seen.

According to an article by the Canadian Press, there’s no timeline for when the changes need to take place.

Chief Yakeleya sees things a little differently.

In a news release, he said, “Sometimes things seem to go awfully slow, the groundwork for this Declaration started in Canada and New Zealand almost a century ago, in 1923. We need to see UNDRIP fully implemented in this country before 2023.”

He also mentioned the new NWT and federal governments and called on them to follow in B.C.’s footsteps.

Indigenous leaders in the NWT have also called on the 19th Legislative Assembly to adopt UNDRIP. The question even came up during the premier selection process.

Finally, the new territorial government has recognized the importance of UNDRIP and recently made its implementation a priority for this assembly.

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About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.