WENDAKE, QC, May 13, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Professor James Anaya, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, released an unambiguous report yesterday: Canada's efforts are insufficient to close the gap between the mainstream population and Aboriginal Peoples in terms of human rights in this country. Prof. Anaya highlighted many areas where definite improvements are required, such as housing, health, justice, education, claim process and economic development.
"Not only does the report describe an obvious deterioration of our socio-economic conditions, but it also demonstrates that the relationship between the federal Government and our Peoples has also deteriorated since 2003. I am not surprised by those findings. How can we improve the situation when we are constantly set up for failure by the federal government? Are we going to have yet another report 10 years from now telling the world that our situation has worsen? It is hard to believe that, today, in Canada, we would be calling for the respect of our most basic human rights", indicated AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
The Special Rapporteur clearly recommends that any existing legal barriers to the effective exercise of indigenous self-government, including those in the Indian Act, should be removed, and effective measures should be taken to build indigenous governance capacity. "This is where improvement would start. We cannot be constantly framed by the federal government's paternalistic policies and rules. The recent Bill C-33 is just one example of the actions taken by the federal government to find a way out from any liability or accountability when it comes to First Nations. Meaningful consultation, free consent and a fair share on any development project on our traditional lands, equal and fair human treatment and equity is what we ask for. Why is it that we still need to fight for those rights in a country like Canada?", concluded Chief Picard.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
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