Request to add Indigenous Identity to BC’s Human Rights Code

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The BC Civil Liberties Association joins the BC Human Rights Tribunal and other organizations in supporting the call to amend ss. 7-14 of the Human Rights Code to add Indigenous identity as a ground of discrimination.

These sections of the Human Rights Code set out the protections from discrimination under the Code. Each prohibits discrimination based on race, colour, ancestry, and place of origin. These grounds have been interpreted to encompass a person’s Indigenous identity. However, in Expanding Our Vision: Cultural Equality & Indigenous Peoples Human Rights [Expanding Our Vision], Ardith Walkem Q.C. explains that these grounds “do not adequately address the discrimination Indigenous Peoples report experiencing” and that amending the Code to add “Indigenous identity” would “send a message of inclusion and reflect the individual and collective nature of Indigenous human rights”. Accordingly, the report’s recommendation 1.2 is to add Indigenous identity as a protected ground.

Read the full joint letter here.