April 21, 2016 proved to be an important day for the recently concluded Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In the House of Commons, Romeo Saganash, Member of Parliament for the Western Quebec riding of Abitibi–Baie-James–Nunavik–Eeyou, tabled a piece of legislation calling for the implementation of one of the key calls to action from the TRC: the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into Canadian law.
Saganash’s Bill C-262, as it is called, has the potential to revolutionize the way that government and private sector organizations would interact with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The adoption and implementation of UNDRIP would provide a legislative framework for how the future relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian government would function. Not only would the bill impact First Nations, Métis, and Inuit relations under the relatively new Liberal government, but it would ensure a lasting legacy that could not be easily overturned by subsequent governments.