AbstractsLaw & Legal Studies

Holding Canada Accountable: An Evaluation of Canada's Compliance to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

by Jackson A Smith

Institution: Wilfrid Laurier University
Year: 2016
Keywords: UNDRIP; Indigenous Rights; Settler Colonialism; Decolonization/De-colonization/Decolonizing; Self-determination; Human Rights Monitoring; Civil Rights and Discrimination; Community Psychology; Human Rights Law; Indian and Aboriginal Law; Inequality and Stratification; International Law; Law and Politics; Law and Psychology; Native American Studies; Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation; Politics and Social Change; Social Policy; Transnational Law
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2086781
Full text PDF: http://scholars.wlu.ca/etd/1875


Compliance of human rights norms requires the application of pressure from a multitude of directions and levels. It takes individual advocacy, micro-system/organizational/community-level pressure, and macro-level pressure from other nation-states and international organizations and governance bodies. This MA study focuses on the mechanisms employed by the United Nations to monitor the compliance of signatory nation-states to the standards established in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), with particular focus on Canada. A crucial goal of this study is to translate the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNSRRIP), James Anaya’s, findings on the situation of Indigenous Peoples in Canada into a quantified score of compliance to the Articles of the UNDRIP in three areas, (1) self-government and self-governance, (2) consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), and (4) land and natural resources, in order to establish a baseline score for subsequent evaluations to be compared for the purpose of monitoring compliance to the Declaration over time. The study finds that UNSRRIP’s country reports have significant gaps for reporting on the compliance of member nation-states to the rights set out in the declaration and advocates the regular use of the UNDRIP compliance evaluation tool to not only encourage more complete and regular UNSRRIP reports, but also to support better compliance with UNDRIP overall.