Ontario Asks Canada To Reconsider UN Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Press release  

Ontario Asks Canada To Reconsider Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

December 22, 2009

As part of Ontario's continued efforts to enhance cooperation, and to build strong relationships with Aboriginal people based on mutual respect, Premier Dalton McGuinty has asked the Government of Canada to reconsider its position on the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

Ontario supports a review of Canada's position on the Declaration as a means to demonstrate its commitment to improving the lives of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. Reconsideration of the Declaration would demonstrate Canada's willingness to foster an open dialogue to improve the lives of Aboriginal peoples.


"Ontario is taking meaningful steps to strengthen our partnership with Aboriginal people so that, together, we can improve the quality of life in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and strengthen our province. A change in Canada's international position on the rights of indigenous peoples would enhance these efforts by setting a new tone that will lead to a deeper and more productive relationship with Aboriginal people. "
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario

"Reconsideration of Canada's support for the Declaration would signal Canada's commitment to an open and constructive relationship with Aboriginal peoples. As Ontario's Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, I know that Aboriginal people in this province view the Declaration as a meaningful foundation for making progress together."
The Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

"The fundamental principle embodied in the Declaration is the enhancement of harmonious and cooperative relations between Indigenous Peoples and the States in which they exist based on principles of justice, democracy, respect for human rights, non-discrimination and good faith. Canada needs to embrace this principle as the next step from the apology. Premier McGuinty and his government are to be commended for showing leadership and encouraging the need for reconciliation and fair and harmonious relations as the path forward."
Angus Toulouse, Regional Chief for Ontario, Assembly of First Nations


  • Ontario is involving Aboriginal people in issues that affect their future. The modernization of the Mining Act includes explicit recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights. This is the first time that this has been recognized in any provincial or territorial mining legislation.
  • Canada is the only non-signatory to the Declaration that has not undertaken a review of its stance. Australia reversed its position and endorsed the Declaration earlier this year.
  • Ontario's request is that the federal government undertake a conscientious review of Canada's position on the Declaration, within the context of Canada's constitutional and treaty framework and related jurisprudence.



Greg Flood
Communications Branch

Scott Cavan
Minister's Office