Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples concluded his official fact-finding visit to Canada, October 7-15th, releasing this statement.  Professor James Anaya journeyed across Canada to examine the situation for First Nations peoples in light of international standards.  He visited Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  Some tweets from the journey:

Further coverage here.
In Fort Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan, he met with Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam who said that they discussed the federal government's "unrelenting attacks on indigenous sovereignty and treaties."  She said she is waiting for the report to see if their meeting left an impression.

Here is some video footage via Winnepeg, Manitoba:


In his Oct. 15th statement, the U.N. Special Rapporteur told the press community that Canada faces a crisis with respect to the nation's indigenous communities, and that the nation "consistently ranks near the top among countries with respect to human development standards, and yet amidst this wealth and prosperity, aboriginal people live in conditions akin to those in countries that rank much lower and in which poverty abounds."
From on Oct. 7th:
The visit comes at an explosive time in Canada as pressure mounts by First Nations peoples against tar sands and other fossil fuel projects in western and central Canada and as demands grow for a national, public inquiry into the cases of more than 600 missing or murdered women across the country, most of whom are Aboriginal. The federal government is also refusing international pressure to convene such an inquiry.

In addition to Anaya's inquiry into the conditions of First Nations peoples, Canada is currently under investigation by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) over the responses of the federal government and federal and provincial judicial agencies to the murders and disappearances of more than 600 women across Canada in the past several decades.
Last February, Human Rights Watch issued a scathing report looking at the conduct of the RCMP in northern British Columbia regarding Aboriginal women, including how the force has investigated the cases of several dozen missing women along the 'Highway of Tears' connecting northern British Columbia to the small coastal city of Prince Rupert.
Professor Anaya will release an official report of his findings in September 2014.  He was appointed U.N. Special Rapporteur in 2008 and also teaches law at the University of Arizona.  He hails from the Apache and Purepecha tribes in the U.S., and his visit to Canada was reportedly stalled by the Canadian authorities for a year.

Some Canadian news station discussion with Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. 

Professor Anaya's journey kicked off on October 7th, the same day as Idle No More's global day of actions.  Further coverage of #Oct7Proclaim in the following news video:


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