Canada: The special rapporteur urges nations to honour treaties with indigenous peoples
James Anaya, the special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples is calling on countries across the world to honour treaties with indigenous peoples and stressing the importance of this as an important part of addressing historical wrongs and moving toward reconciliation. The remarks from the special rapporteur has been made as treaty talks between the Harper government and First Nations leaders in Canada appear to be making little headway.
High-level talks on treaty implementation were a major commitment of a meeting in January between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and First Nations leaders at the height of the indigenous Idle No More protests. Aboriginal leaders have long called for nation-to-nation talks to implement and enforce treaties signed between the Crown and First Nations. But while talks on comprehensive claims (modern-day treaties) have progressed well since then, the treaty implementation talks have lagged. At Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo’s only meeting with Harper since January – it came almost six months later, in June – he hand-delivered a letter from Saskatchewan Regional Chief Perry Bellegarde, the AFN’s point man on treaties, asking for clarity on the authority and mandate of a joint senior oversight committee on treaty implementation. James Anaya 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.
Tags: Global governance