Why Canada’s Indigenous principles document matters

Indigenous peoples have seen some of these principles before—in court cases, commissions, speeches and policy platforms. At the same time, these principles have never been gathered as concisely and holistically as occurs in this federal document. Furthermore, as noted, UNDRIP has been added to these commitments. The document presents new opportunities to apply familiar principles in innovative ways.

Now is the time for action. Implementation through sustained legislative commitment can start to turn the tide. If we fail to implement what is outlined in this document it will not be because the principles are flawed. These principles are broadly aligned with many Indigenous communities’ aspirations. They are also good for our economy and democracy: Indigenous economic activity generates money that is spent in our towns and cities, and Indigenous democratic participation draws more people and ideas into public life.