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Canada: New developments and challenges facing indigenous peoples to be examined by UN rights expert

GENEVA (3 October 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, will visit Canada from 7 to 15 October 2013 to examine the situation of indigenous peoples in the country. This visit follows up a mission to Canada by the previous Special Rapporteur in 2004.

“I will be looking at the issues faced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada”, the human rights expert said, “including in relation to matters of reconciliation, governance and self-government; lands and resources; and health, education and economic development.”

Announcing his first visit to Canada as UN Special Rapporteur, Mr. Anaya emphasized that the mission “aims at assessing the human rights concern of indigenous peoples in light of international standards to which Canada has committed, and at identifying good practices in Canadian law and policy as well as needed reforms.”

The Special Rapporteur, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government and indigenous peoples, will travel to remote communities and urban areas in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. In these areas, he will hold discussions and consultations with indigenous peoples and their representatives and meet with federal and provincial government officials.

At the end of the seven-day mission, on 15 October 2013, Mr. Anaya will hold a press conference, from 2 to 3 pm at the National Press Theatre, located on the first floor of the National Press Building, in Ottawa, Ontario.

Following the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare and make public a report on the visit’s findings, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

The UN Human Rights Council appointed S. James Anaya (United States) as Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2008. Mr. Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/512/07/PDF/N0651207.pdf?OpenElement

UN Human Rights Country Page – Canada: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/CAIndex.aspx

For more information and media inquiries, please contact Maia Campbell +1 520 260 6900 / indigenous@ohchr.org).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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