UN indigenous rights investigator James Anaya begins Canadian tour
Canada's treatment of its aboriginal residents will come under the international spotlight between today and October 15.
James Anaya, UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, begins his investigation of Canada today in Ontario, where he will meet with government and indigenous representatives.
The professor of human rights law and policy at the University of Arizona will be in Vancouver on Thursday (October 10).
A UN Human Rights Council resolution authorizes Anaya to make recommendations and devise proposals to prevent and remedy violations of human rights inflicted on indigenous peoples.
According to the UN website, he also has a mandate to "examine ways and means of overcoming existing obstacles to the full and effective protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people...and to identify, exchange and promote best practices".
In 2012, his report on the United States called for improvement of federal programs and new measures to "address persistent deep-seated problems related to historical wrongs, failed policies of the past and continuing systemic barriers to the full realization of indigenous people's rights".
Earlier this year, New York–based Human Rights Watch released a scathing report on the RCMP's dealings with aboriginal women and girls in northern B.C.
The lead researcher, Meaghan Rhoad, visited 10 communities and interviewed 50 women and girls, as well as 37 family members of women who had gone missing or who had been murdered.
In five of the 10 communities, Human Rights Watch reported that it had heard allegations of rape or sexual assault by police officers.
The RCMP responded that no complaints had been brought forward for investigation and it was impossible to deal with them "when we have no method to determine who the victims or the accused are".