Wednesday, August 14, 2013

UN rapporteur urges all nations to honour treaties with natives

A top United Nations expert on indigenous rights is calling on countries across the world to honour treaties with indigenous peoples, saying doing so is a crucial part of addressing historical wrongs and moving toward reconciliation. Prof. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, didn't specifically mention Canada, but his remarks come as treaty talks between the Harper government and First Nations leaders appear to be making little headway.

"Full respect for treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements is a crucial element in advancing toward reconciliation with indigenous peoples," Anaya said Friday to mark the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples.

"Broken treaties must become a thing of the past."

Anaya also said he will make an official visit to Canada from Oct. 12 to 20, permission for which he had been requesting since February 2012. UN rapporteurs must have the consent of member countries to make official visits.