United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Big Ideas

  • The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) outlines the rights that Indigenous Peoples have.
  • The UNDRIP defines and explains what Indigenous Rights are and how they are to be protected, individually and collectively.
  • The UNDRIP outlines the minimum standards necessary for Indigenous Peoples’ survival, dignity and well-being.
  • The UNDRIP recognizes that Indigenous Peoples are distinct and come from self-determining nations who require free, prior and informed consent when interacting with other countries, nations and foreign governments.
  • Canada was the last to sign on to adopt the UNDRIP into Canada’s laws.


1. Watch the following videos:

2. Engage in discussion using the suggested prompts:

How has the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canada changed?

What are the barriers to a good relationship?

How would UNDRIP change the relationship?

Why is this significant?

Why was Canada the last to sign on to adopt the UNDRIP in its own laws?

How does UNDRIP help to advance the goals of Indigenous Peoples having autonomy over their lands and be recognized by Canada as being sovereign self-determining nations?

3. Explore the UNDRIP:

Have students read through the UNDRIP articles:

UNDRIP document

UNDRIP for adolescents

4. Take the Quiz:

Direct students to the website: #Next150challenge

Have them take the quiz to check their knowledge and understanding after reading the articles within the UNDRIP

5. Watch, reflect, create:

Watch the following videos:

Engage students in a discussion on what they heard.

Have students research who Romeo Saganash and Chief Wilton Littlechild are and create an autobiography of each based on their life and accomplishments.

You may choose to have students present their autobiographies to the class.

6. UNDRIP Article Activity:

Using the articles in UNDRIP have students work in groups to determine which of those aligns with the news articles provided (these are suggested news items – you are encouraged to look for recent news articles as well).

Have students consider: What is the news story about? What is the issue? Why is it important? How does it relate to the UNDRIP articles? What does it suggest about the extent to which the objectives of UNDRIP are being realized in Canada?

Possible News Articles: Police arrest journalist, researcher in connection with Caledonia land reclamation; Family outraged after student’s hair cut; Mi’kmaw journalist assesses media coverage of fisheries dispute; The Delgamuukw decision: Putting the Wet’suwet’en conflict in perspective; Nunavut mine says it’s not allowed to harm Inuit harvesting

The following slide deck is available for teachers to use:

The Anishinabek Nation is committed to supporting public education and awareness on the impacts of anti-Indigenous racism. Education tools, made with First Nations, support a culturally-responsive, strength based, and trauma- informed approach that will help all Canadian citizens understand their own obligations to speak up and act. This project is in line with the release of the June 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report in which recommendation 57 calls upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to:

  • Provide education to public servants on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism. In addition, recommendation 62 calls upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, in consultation and collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal peoples, and educators, to:
  • Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples’ historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandatory education requirement for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students;
  • Provide the necessary funding to post-secondary institutions to educate teachers on how to integrate Indigenous knowledge and teaching methods into classrooms.

The Anishinabek Nation has developed an online module for the public that will build capacity to recognize and act to prevent occurrence of anti-indigenous racism. Areas for potential expansion include exploring Indigenous identity, racism in the classroom, racism in sports, and engaging in dialogue for all Ontarians to fight racism against Indigenous people.

Click on the image to the left or follow this link to view this module.