Indigenous peoples have the right to
make their own decisions about how and when their lands and resources will be
used and developed.
This right of free, prior and
informed consent or FPIC provides a vital safeguard for distinctive cultures
and ways of life that have long been marginalized and discriminated against.
The right of FPIC is set out in
numerous provisions of the 2007 United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in countless
rulings and statements from international human rights bodies. The standard
has been adopted by the International Financial Corporation – the arm of the
World Bank responsible for private sector investment - and endorsed by leading sectors of global
industry.Unfortunately, Canada has lagged behind these
international standards. For years, the federal government denied any legal
obligation to obtain the consent of Indigenous peoples - even when Canadian
courts said otherwise. In contrast, the government of Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau federal government has made numerous commitments, both direct and
indirect, to support free, prior, and informed consent. It's crucial that they
now prioritize turning these promises into action
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous PeoplesThe United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples sets out minimum standards for the “survival, dignity and well-being” of Indigenous peoples around the world.