VIDEO — Canada’s Aboriginal Policy Slammed in UN Report – PRESS TV
May 13, 2014
A UN official has warned that Canada is facing a crisis over the conditions of its aboriginal population, “grappling with a housing crisis” as well as “poor education and healthcare.”
James Anaya, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of the indigenous peoples, made the warning on Monday, as he published a report on the situation of Canada’s First Nations.
Anaya called on the administration of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take “urgent action” to address the housing crisis for the indigenous population and to provide “sufficient funding” for services, including education, health and child welfare.
Anaya also commented on the situation of aboriginal women and girls, saying they “remain vulnerable to abuse” and called for a nationwide inquiry into the disappearance and murder of nearly 1,200 native women over the past three decades.
The Harper administration has repeatedly refused to launch a national inquiry.
Latest figures by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) showed that some 1,186 incidents have been recorded of aboriginal homicides and unresolved investigations into incidents of missing women.
The UN official said there are “high levels of distrust” toward the Canadian government among the native population, adding the relationship between the two is even more strained than a decade ago.
Jean Crowder, the official opposition critic for aboriginal affairs with the New Democratic Party, has blamed the government for not taking more action regarding the issue.
“Study after study, report after report find that investments are needed to improve the quality of life for indigenous peoples in Canada, especially in housing, child welfare and education, yet this government continues to let funding trickle out,” Crowder stated.
According to a 2011 census, Canada has 1.4 million Aboriginals, which is nearly 4.3 percent of its overall population.