BCLI Releases Reconciliation Primers
August 14, 2023
BY Meghan Little
As part of the Reconciling Crown Legal Frameworks (RCLF) Program, we are happy to share that the BCLI has released two primers. These are the first in a series of primers aimed at providing information on law reform issues related to BC’s adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (“Declaration Act”).
The BCLI launched the RCLF Program in 2022 to support the implementation of the Declaration Act in BC. The BCLI will supply research and innovations to align the Crown legal system with Indigenous legal frameworks.
The first reconciliation primer, The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, introduces the Declaration Act and its implications for BC legislation. It discusses how the BC Declaration Act, which was passed in 2019, affirms that the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“UN Declaration”) applies to the laws of BC. It also discusses the legal obligations the Declaration Act sets out for the BC government, including:
- To take all measures necessary to ensure the laws of BC are consistent with the UN Declaration (section 3);
- To prepare and implement an action plan to meet the objectives of the UN Declaration (section 4); and
- To report annually to the Legislative Assembly on Progress (section 5)
In accordance with section 4 of the Declaration Act, in 2022, BC released the Declaration Act Action Plan 2022-2027 (“Action Plan”). It sets out the provincial government’s goals and outcomes for the implementation of the UN Declaration in BC over the 5-year period to which it applies.
The second primer, Indigenous Laws, is a collaborative publication with the Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria. It provides an overview of Indigenous laws, their sources and how they operate. Indigenous laws describe the principles and processes that Indigenous Peoples and communities use and have always used to govern themselves. Aboriginal law, by contrast, describes Canadian laws about Indigenous issues.
The BCLI will continue to release more primers as we explore law reform issues related to the implementation of the Declaration Act.