Library and Archives Canada has not released a statement fully adopting and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, although it cites support of UNDRIP.
The Call to Action:
We call upon Library and Archives Canada to:
i) Fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orentlicher Principles, as related to Aboriginal peoples’ inalienable right to know the truth about what happened and why, with regard to human rights violations committed against them in residential schools.
ii) Ensure that its record holdings related to residential schools are accessible to the public.
iii) Commit more resources to its public education materials and programming on residential schools.
Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has not released a statement fully adopting and implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the United Nations Joinet-Orenlicher Principles, although it cites support of UNDRIP.
LAC is researching ways to determine how the declaration will be implemented within the organization.
As part of this, in June 2021, LAC removed “incomplete and potentially offensive” content from some of its website and released an acknowledgement statement addressing it.
There is limited progress on access to record holdings and public education materials.
Library and Archives Canada issued an Indigenous Heritage Action Plan in April 2019 acknowledging the Calls to Action applicable to the institution, and including commitments to improve the ability to discover and access residential school information and to support and facilitate projects and events to promote Indigenous heritage and histories.
The plan identified 28 actions to be implemented between 2019 and 2024.
According to the action plan, “Library and Archives Canada is committed to playing a significant role in reconciliation between the Government of Canada and First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation based on a renewed nation-to-nation or government-to-government relationship, particularly with regard to human rights. These rights include international Indigenous rights, as defined by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), a Declaration to which the Government of Canada is fully committed.”
In June 2016, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), in partnership with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, signed an agreement confirming the preservation and public access to the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools.
At the time, LAC was in the process of creating approximately 300,000 digital images of TRC records to be transferred to the NCTR.
But not all of the records are easily accessible to the public; many are classified as “restricted” and therefore subject to access to information and privacy legislation, meaning one would have to file an Access to Information Request to obtain them.