UNDRIP Guidelines

Process: 
proposal submission, continuous intake
Category: 
Funding Programs
Research Supports

Building UNDRIP compliance in research and program development

Overview

Hotıì ts’eeda (HT) recognises the importance of implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP or “the Declaration”) in the NWT. The 46 articles of UNDRIP, which describe the human rights of Indigenous peoples, guide how HT operates. This includes HT’s responsibility to promote UNDRIP compliance in the health research and program development that HT supports.

HT has developed guidelines for individuals and organisations to use when applying for funding from HT. The guidelines are intended to help applicants understand and describe how their research initiative or program complies with UNDRIP, with a particular focus on the UNDRIP Articles that focus on Indigenous health.

It is not expected that a single initiative will comply with every article in the Declaration. Equally, the guidelines are not a barrier to funding and will not be used as the basis for denying financial assistance.

The guidelines are a series of questions, relating to specific Articles in UNDRIP. Applicants are encouraged to choose one or two Articles that are relevant to their project and answer the guiding questions to determine how their initiative complies with UNDRIP. The Articles were selected for their relevance to Indigenous health and wellness. Applicants are, however, welcome to draw on any Article in the Declaration if it helps them demonstrate how their initiative fulfils the principles of UNDRIP and HT’s health-related goals.

The UN Declaration Guidelines

The questions below are intended to encourage applicants to reflect on how they are applying the principles of UNDRIP. Examples of funded projects which implement the Declaration are included to help applicants with this funding request requirement.

To begin evaluating how your project implements UNDRIP, review the headings below.

Contents

Article 18 & 19: Indigenous participation and decision-making

Does your initiative include Indigenous participation in decision-making?

Articles 18 and 19 of UNDRIP say that Indigenous people have a right to participate in decision- making and be consulted and cooperated with to obtain their free, prior, and informed consent before any measures are taken that might affect them. These articles suggest an approach to research and program development which prioritises Indigenous participation, cooperation, and empowerment.

Questions to consider:

  • How are Indigenous individuals, groups, organisations, or governments involved in the decision-making for your project?
  • Who “owns” the project?

Example

  • The initiative is owned and being proposed by a Section 35 rights-bearing Indigenous government, and Indigenous NGO, or an Indigenous individual;
  • The initiative includes a community advisory committee with Indigenous participants;
  • The initiative includes Indigenous individuals in its governance and decision-making structure.

Example of HT funded project:

The Book of Hope project, initiated by the Inuvik Cancer Support Group, is a project that will bring together stories of cancer survivors from the NWT. The Inuvik Cancer Support Group provides workshops and group activities for cancer survivors in the Inuvik area. The group works to break down the stigma surrounding cancer and open conversations about cancer amongst participants. The Book of Hope will include interviews from survivors from all over the NWT and aims to provide comfort and reassurance for new patients fighting against the disease. The Inuvik Cancer Support Group is run by an Indigenous individual (Agnes Pascal) and therefore, aligns with UNDRIP by including Indigenous decision-making, priorities, and governance. Click here to learn more.

Article 21.1 Improving the economic and social conditions of Indigenous peoples

Does your initiative aim to improve the economic and social conditions of Indigenous peoples?

Article 21.1 says that ‘Indigenous people have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions.’ This includes the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health, and social security.

Questions to consider:

  • What aspects of Indigenous peoples’ socioeconomic conditions does your initiative specifically address?
  • How does your initiative support improvement in this area?
  • What is the basis for addressing this area, from the perspective of Indigenous individuals, organisations, or governments?

Example:

  • The initiative focuses on socio-economic issues that are confirmed by Indigenous participants or Section 35 rights-bearing organizations as a research or program priority;
  • The project aims to improve socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples;
  • The project will contribute to building social, cultural, economic strengths of Indigenous organizations, communities, and/or individuals.

Example of HT funded project:

The Indigenous Land-based Healing Programs in Canada: A Scoping Review is a report produced by Hotıì ts’eeda and the On The Land Collaborative. The report is a literature review of Indigenous land-based programming in Canada, and the circumpolar North. The report emphasises the importance of valuing, listening, and learning from land-based healing programs. It proposes that the knowledge drawn from land-based healing could help Canadian health and social services enact strengths-based, culturally safe interventions that could contribute to breaking cycles of trauma and poor health for Indigenous peoples. This report aligns with UNDRIP because it suggests a pathway for improving the health of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Click here to learn more.

Article 21.2 Indigenous Elders, women, children, youth, and persons with disabilities

Does your initiative contribute to improving the economic and social conditions of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children, or persons with disabilities?

Article 21.2 says that particular attention should be paid to the ‘rights and special needs of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.’

Questions to consider:

  • How does your initiative support the needs of Indigenous Elders, women, children, youth, or persons with disabilities?
  • What specific need does your initiative address?
  • What is the basis for addressing this need, from the perspective of Indigenous individuals, organisations, or governments?

Example:

  • Indigenous women, Elders, youth, and/or persons with disabilities own or are proposing the project;
  • The project targets Indigenous women, Elders, youth, and/or persons with disabilities;
  • The project responds to stated research or project priorities of Indigenous women, Elders, youth, and/or persons with disabilities;
  • The project involves Indigenous women, Elders, youth, and/or persons with disabilities in project decision making or governance.

Example of HT funded project:

The Territorial Cancer Survivors’ Retreat for Women, held by the NWT Breast Health/Breast Cancer Action in October 2019, was a three-day retreat for women experiencing or who had experienced cancer. The retreat provided participants with emotional support, information, and opportunities to connect with other cancer survivors. The program included workshops on therapeutic yoga, meditation, and Indigenous healing. The retreat responded to the need for greater support for cancer survivors, especially in the smaller communities of the NWT. It provided participants with support and healing and opened opportunities for peer support within the communities. In line with UNDRIP, this program targeted the needs of Indigenous women experiencing cancer, responded to the absence of cancer support for Indigenous women in the NWT, and included input from Indigenous Community Health Representatives. Click here to learn more.

Article 23 Socioeconomic Development and Control

Are Indigenous people, organisations, or governments actively involved in the development of your initiative?

Article 23 says that Indigenous people have the right ‘to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development.’ It emphasises that Indigenous people must be actively involved in developing and determining the health, housing and other economic and social programmes that affect them and, as far as possible, must be allowed‘to administer such programmes through their own institutions.’

Questions to consider

  • What aspect of social or economic development does your initiative seek to address?
  • How does your initiative seek to improve outcomes for Indigenous peoples in this area?
  • How are Indigenous people, organisations, or governments actively involved in the development of priorities and strategies in your initiative?
  • Is your initiative administered through an Indigenous institution? If so, how?

Examples

  • The project addresses an area relating to Indigenous social or economic development;
  • The project is being proposed by an Indigenous individual, organisation, or government;
  • The project is being developed with an Indigenous partner;
  • The initiative is responding to a development issue or need that is confirmed by Indigenous participants or Section 35 rights-bearing organization as a research or program priority;
  • The initiative is being administered through an Indigenous organisation.

Example of HT funded project:

The Indigenous Women’s Gathering on Gender and Resurgence was held by Dene Nahjo in 2019. The gathering brought together community members, Elders, youth, activists, and academics have an interest in the intersections of gender and cultural resurgence in Indigenous community-based contexts. The 3-day event allowed participants to share best practices, perspectives, hopes, and challenges on cultural resurgence and Indigenous women and girls. The event was organised by an Indigenous organisation and identified best practices, gaps and challenges in programming, and areas for growth and development on issues relating to Indigenous women and girls. This initiative, therefore, aligns with UNDRIP because it was coordinated by an Indigenous organisation and reflects Indigenous strategies and priorities relating to the development of programming for Indigenous women and girls. Click here to learn more.

Article 24.1 Traditional medicines and access to health services

Does your initiative support Indigenous peoples’ right to their traditional medicines and health practices? Does your initiative support Indigenous peoples’ ability to access all social and health services?

Article 24.1 says that Indigenous people have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, ‘including the conservation of their vital medicine plants, animals and minerals.’ The Article also says that Indigenous individuals have ‘the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services’

Questions to consider:

  • How does your initiative promote Indigenous peoples’ access to health services, or their right to their traditional medicines and health practices?
  • What is the basis for addressing this health service or traditional health practice, from the perspective of Indigenous individuals, organisations, or governments?

Example:

  • The initiative aims to improve Indigenous peoples’ ability to access health and social services;
  • The initiative focuses on an issue relating to health and social service access which is confirmed by Indigenous participants or Section 35 rights-bearing organisation as a research or program priority;
  • The initiative aims to contributes to the strengthening, protection, maintenance and/or reinforcement of traditional medicines and health practices;

Example of HT funded project:

The Urban Hide Tanning Camp is a program run by Dene Nahjo in Yellowknife (Somba K’e). The camp teaches traditional tide tanning techniques and provides a space where Indigenous participants can learn from Elders, connect with their culture, and engage in self- determination. The camp fosters reconciliation and awareness, reclaims traditional spaces, and supports Indigenous peoples’ engagement with their cultures. The Tanning Camp aligns with UNDRIP by supporting traditional knowledges, Indigenous cultures, and ways of healing to foster community health and wellness in the NWT. The program is guided by Indigenous decision-making and reflects Indigenous priorities for community health and wellness. Click here to learn more.

Article 24.2 Health Equity

Does your initiative help Indigenous people achieve the highest standard of physical and mental health possible?

Article 24.2 says that Indigenous people have an ‘equal right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ The Article emphasises that governments have a responsibility to achieve the full realisation of this right.

Questions to consider:

  • What specific area(s) of health improvement does your initiative address?
  • How does it aim to improve Indigenous peoples’ health in this area?
  • Does your initiative support the Government of Canada and NWT’s efforts to realise this right? If so, how?

Example

  • The initiative aims to improve the standard of physical and/or mental health for Indigenous peoples;
  • The initiative responds to a health inequity or need which has been confirmed by an Indigenous individual, organisation, or government;
  • The initiative aims to government efforts to improve the standard of physical and mental health for Indigenous peoples;
  • The initiative includes Indigenous individuals, organisations, or governments in the development of priorities and methods for improving the standard of health.

Example of HT funded project:

The Northern Birthwork Collective (NBC) is a MakeWay Shared Platform project which aims to create culturally safe spaces and services for communities in reproductive health, pregnancy, birth, postpartum and the parenting journey. The NBC achieves this by providing anti-racist, just, and equitable care. The project responds to a lack of culturally safe perinatal care for Indigenous communities in the NWT. It prioritises the incorporation of regional representation in decision-making, and the inclusion and revitalization of traditional birthing practices. The project aligns with UNDRIP because it provides tailored services for Indigenous individuals and aims to mitigate the inequalities found in Indigenous reproductive health services. Click here to learn more.

Article 29.3 Monitoring, maintaining, and restoring Indigenous health

Does your initiative or research support include programs for monitoring, maintaining, and restoring the health of Indigenous peoples, especially in areas which have been exposed to hazardous materials?

Article 29.3 says that governments have a responsibility to ensure that programs for monitoring, maintaining, and restoring the health of Indigenous peoples are ‘duly implemented.’ This Article relates to the conservation and protection of the environment and applies to areas of land affected by hazardous materials. The Article also says that Indigenous people have a right to develop and implement the programs intended to improve their health in the affected area.

Questions to consider:

  • What are the goals of your initiative relating to monitoring, maintaining, and/or restoring the health of Indigenous peoples?
  • How will your initiative achieve this?
  • To what extent are Indigenous peoples of the affected area included in the design and implementation of these programs? (e.g., as researchers, participants, in project design and development, as partners, etc.)

Example

  • The initiative aims to monitor, maintain, and/or restore the health of Indigenous peoples;
  • The initiative’s research or program goals relating to monitoring, maintaining, and/or restoring the health of Indigenous peoples are informed by Indigenous individuals, organisations, or governments;
  • The initiative is being proposed by an Indigenous community, organisation, or NGO to support the conservation of its environment;
  • The initiative will contribute to strengthening the capacity of Indigenous individuals, institutions, organisations, and/or governments to conserve and protect their lands and environment.

Example of HT funded project

The Hoèla Weteèst’eèdeè: Understanding Community Wellbeing Around Giant Mine Study Program, coordinated by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), is being developed to monitor the effects of the Giant Mine Remediation Project. Specifically, the project is being developed to help in the assessment of risk related to the exposure or potential exposure to arsenic. It is looking into the physical and psychological effects of stress related to Giant Mine in the local population. While not funded by Hotıì ts’eeda, this research initiative has been showcased at past Ełèts’ehdèe gatherings. The YKDFN is a research partner in the Hoèla Weteèst’eèdeè study and has full control over the research done within the study. This is important for YKDFN’s data access and recognition in publications. This initiative aligns with UNDRIP because it is being conducted by an Indigenous government, prioritises the needs of the affected community, and seeks to monitor and improve the health of the affected Indigenous community. Click here to learn more.

Article 31.1 The maintenance, control, protection, and development of traditional knowledge

Does your initiative support Indigenous peoples’ right to their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions? Does your initiative support Indigenous peoples’ right to their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions?

Article 31.1 says that Indigenous people have the right to ‘maintain, control, protect, and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.’ This relates to the manifestations of their sciences, technologies, and cultures (including human and genetic resources, seeks, medicines, knowledge of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports, and traditional games, and visual and performing arts). The Article also says that Indigenous people have the right to ‘maintain, control, protect, and develop their intellectual property’ over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.

Questions to consider:

  • How does your initiative promote Indigenous peoples’ right to their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions?
  • How does your initiative or research support Indigenous peoples’ right to their intellectual property?
  • Does your initiative promote Indigenous data sovereignty and Indigenous methods of research and evaluation? If so, how?
  • To what extent are Indigenous people involved in the design, implementation, and development of your initiative or research?

Example

  • Initiative aims to support the maintenance, control, protection, and/or development of Indigenous peoples’ cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and cultural expressions;
  • The initiative’s priorities regarding the maintenance, control, protection, and development of Indigenous cultural heritage, knowledge, and expressions are informed by Indigenous participants;
  • Initiative aims to support Indigenous data sovereignty and intellectual property rights;
  • Initiative responds to stated research priorities of Indigenous participants regarding data sovereignty and intellectual property;
  • The initiative is being proposed by an Indigenous individual, organisation, or government and relates to data sovereignty, intellectual property, or traditional knowledge.

Example of HT funded project

The Maximising Community Participation in the Dzan-Kivgaluk Ratting Camp in the Mackenzie Delta, organized by the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board, was a camp held in 2019 which conducted holistic research into the ecological drivers of the decline in the muskrat population in the Mackenzie Delta, and the cultural and health consequences of this decline for the Delta’s surrounding communities. The camp participants studied the Delta ecosystem using traditional knowledge, skills, and methods. The camp engaged Gwich’in and Inuvialuit elders, adults, and youth. This project aligns with UNDRIP’s emphasis on developing, maintaining, protecting, and controlling Indigenous traditional knowledge. The program responds to Indigenous research priorities, uses Indigenous methods, and is conducted through an Indigenous organisation.

UNDRIP Funding Guidelines Table

UNDRIP Article Does your initiative...
Articles 18 & 19
Decision-making and FPIC
... include Indigenous participation in decision making?
Article 21.1
Improvement of socio-economic conditions
... aim to improve the economic and social conditions of Indigenous peoples?
Article 21.2
Indigenous Elders, women, youth, and children
... contribute to improving the economic and social conditions of Indigenous Elders, women, youth, children, or persons with disabilities?
Article 23
Socio-economic development and control
... actively involve Indigenous peoples, organisations, or governments in the development of the program?
Article 24.1
Traditional medicines and access to health

... support Indigenous peoples' right to their traditional medicines and health practices?

... support Indigenous peoples' ability to access all social and health services?

Article 24.2
Health equity
... help Indigenous people achieve the highest standard of physical and mental health possible?
Article 29.3
Monitoring, maintaining, and restoring Indigenous health

... include programmes for monitoring, maintaining, and restoring the health of Indigenous peoples?

... have programs that are developed and implemented by (or in consultation with) Indigenous peoples?

Article 31.1
Traditional knowledge & cultural heritage
... support Indigenous peoples' right to their traditional knowledge, heritage, and cultural expressions?
Open Category
(any other applicable articles)
... implement another UNDRIP article which also supports Indigenous health and wellness?