JAMES ANAYA – OCTOBER 25, 2013
National Press Gallery, OTTAWA
After spending the last nine days touring the country, professor James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, concluded his visit to Canada today by presenting his preliminary report at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa. Though unable to visit all the regions he would have liked to he said, his journey took him to several places including indigenous territories in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. In his opening statement he said:
“I am grateful to the Government of Canada for its cooperation and for the information it has provided, and for allowing me to carry out my visit freely and in an independent manner. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to representatives of indigenous peoples who invited me to visit their territories and communities across Canada, and to those indigenous organizations and individuals who assisted me in organizing parts of my agenda. Finally, I especially want to thank the indigenous peoples with whom I met for sharing with me their stories, concerns and aspirations. I am hono[u]red to have been welcomed into their communities and territories, and am truly humbled by their hospitality and warmth.”
Though his visit to Canada was delayed by about a year, which he jokingly said caused him to look up the term “prorogation,” Anaya said he welcomed the opportunity when it became available. His preliminary findings and observations state that some progress has been made since his predecessor's visit about a decade ago, but they highlight that “Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples in the country.” HERE (http://unsr.jamesanaya.org/statements/statement-upon-conclusion-of-the-visit-to-canada) is the transcript of his preliminary statement.
For those of us who await Professor Anaya's final report on the situation faced by Canada's Indigenous Peoples...here's a glimpse of the conclusion of today's press conference and Q&A with the UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Diplomatic but cautionary.
- Maggie Padlewska / oneyearoneworld.com