The Declaration Act Secretariat released The Interim Approach to Implementing the Requirements of Section 3 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Interim Approach) in October 2022. The first-of-its-kind Interim Approach provides clarity and transparency around co-development, consultation and co-operation with Indigenous Peoples throughout the provincial legislative process. Examples of legislation that have benefited from the consultation and co-operation guidance from the Secretariat include the Interpretation Act, Forest and Range Practices Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Emergency Program Act and the Anti-Racism Data Act. For more details about the work of the Declaration Act Secretariat.
- Establishment of the Declaration Act Secretariat: Established April 1, 2022.
- Policies/Reports developed: Interim Approach released October 24, 2022.
How are we working together?
Expert dialogue sessions on section 3 informed the development of the Interim Approach. This guidance is iterative and consultation and co-operation with Indigenous partners will continue.
The Declaration Act Secretariat continues to provide advice and guidance to ministries on alignment with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, consultation and co-operation requirements and engagement with rights and title holders, Indigenous Peoples and organizations.
Are there challenges?
Adequate staffing of the Secretariat to meet the demand for its participation and guidance is a risk, but recruitment is in progress.
The volume of consultation and co-operation engagement requests being sent to Indigenous partners continues to rise and is contributing to consultation fatigue. There is a lack of consistent approaches taken across sectors and ministries to streamline these requests and in some instances previous engagements where ministries would have received feedback on specific priorities are not taken into account.
Ministries are at various points of understanding the requirements they are responsible for under section 3 of the Declaration Act. This can cause some obstacles as it relates to appropriate co-development, consultation and co-operation. For example, when legislative timelines are compressed, it can affect how ministries interpret their responsibilities to consult and co-operate with Indigenous Peoples.