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Media advisories Special Procedures

UN expert on Indigenous Peoples’ rights to visit Canada

28 February 2023

GENEVA (28 February 2023) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, José Francisco Calí Tzay, will conduct an official visit to Canada from 1 to 10 March 2023.

The UN expert will examine a diverse range of issues affecting Indigenous Peoples, including the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the right to self-determination and the rights to land, territories and resources. He will also focus on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,  residential schools and unmarked burial sites, indigenous education, language and culture, business and human rights, including the extraterritorial obligations of Canadian companies, free prior and informed consent.

The expert will visit five provinces at the invitation of the government - Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Alberta and British Colombia.

Cali Tzay will meet with Government officials, the judiciary, NHRI, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders. He will also visit communities to discuss their priorities and concerns.

The Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference to share his preliminary findings and recommendations at 12:00 p.m. on Friday 10 March in Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa. The press conference will be in English. Access will be strictly limited to journalists.

The UN expert will present his final report to the Human Rights Council in September 2023. 


Mr. José Francisco Cali Tzay, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples in March 2020 and took up the role on 1 May 2020. A Mayan Cakchiquel from Guatemala, he has represented indigenous peoples at the United Nations since the early 1980s, addressing human rights violations against indigenous peoples in Guatemala and around the world.  

Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 

See the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Canada

For more information and media requests, please contact Lilia Petrosyan ([email protected])

For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Maya Derouaz ([email protected]) or Dharisha Indraguptha ([email protected])

Follow news related to the UN’s independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.

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