Jean-Marc Ferre/Creative Commons/Flicker
The United Nations building in Geneva, where the international body's Human Rights Committee found Canada's record wanting, especially regarding Indigenous Peoples.

U.N. Human Rights Body Blasts Canada’s Lack of Progress on Indigenous Peoples


Indigenous and human rights leaders in Canada welcomed the validation contained in the latest report from the United Nations Human Rights Committee as it addressed the prevalence of violence against aboriginal women, the uneven resources devoted to children in the social welfare system, and excessive uses of force in land disputes, among other issues of major concern.

“Today’s report shows that we need action now on our collective agenda for closing the human rights gap,” said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde in a statement on July 23, when the report was issued. “It is significant that a report on human rights in Canada focuses so much on Indigenous Peoples and indigenous rights. This speaks to the extent of our challenges and the urgent need to address them. The report is yet another call to action for Canada to work with First Nations as partners to realize our human rights, including our Aboriginal and Treaty rights.”

More than 26 human rights organizations, including Canada Without Poverty, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Amnesty International Canada and Human Rights Watch, submitted statements and supporting documents to the 18-member U.N. Human Rights Committee for review under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which met from June 29 through July 24. It handed down more than a dozen recommendations, including that a national inquiry be conducted into the matter of missing and murdered indigenous women.

The committee recently conducted a periodic review of Canada and six other countries during its four-week session. Its examination found Canada wanting on a number of fronts related to civil and political freedoms, much of it regarding Indigenous Peoples. . The review, conducted every 10 years, was the first one under the seven-year-old government of Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The committee revisited and reiterated many other groups’ calls for a national inquiry into the unsolved cases of nearly 1,200—and growing daily—missing and murdered indigenous women, a statistic compiled by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). It also spoke of the need for Canada to focus more on overall prevalence of violence against Native women.

RELATED: 10 Unheeded Calls for a Canadian Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

“The Committee is concerned that indigenous women and girls are disproportionately affected by life-threatening forms of violence, homicides and disappearances,” the committee said in its seven-page report, Concluding Observations on the Sixth Periodic Report of Canada. “Notably, the Committee is concerned about the [Canadian government’s] reported failure to provide adequate and effective responses to this issue.”

On the upside were British Columbia’s Missing Women Commission of Inquiry and recently passed legislation related to missing persons; the federal government’s new Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women and Girls. But the committee said it was still “concerned about the lack of information on measures taken to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible.”

Recommendations were manifold: “The State party should, as a matter of priority: a) address the issue of murdered and missing indigenous women and girls by conducting a national inquiry, as called for by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, in consultation with indigenous women’s organizations and families of the victims; b) review its legislation at the federal, provincial and territorial levels and coordinate police responses across the country with a view to preventing the occurrence of such murders and disappearances; c) investigate, prosecute and punish the perpetrators and provide reparation to victims and; d) address the root causes of violence against indigenous women and girls.”

RELATED: Another International Call for Inquiry Into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada

The committee also urged Canada to make a better effort to “promptly and impartially” investigate allegations of ill-treatment and excessive force by police and ensure “that those responsible for such violations are prosecuted and punished with appropriate penalties,” citing in particular “indigenous land-related protests,” as well as G20 protests in 2010 and student protests in Quebec in 2012.

RELATED: Police in Riot Gear Tear-Gas and Shoot Mi'kmaq Protesting Gas Exploration in New Brunswick

Preserving the more than 60 indigenous languages still alive across Canada, removing the components of the Indian Act that strip Native women and their descendants of their status if they marry outside an indigenous tribe (it does not happen to men), and addressing the disproportionate incarceration rate of indigenous people compared to the mainstream were also on the list of recommendations. It also expressed reservations with a new anti-terror bill that took effect in June, which indigenous leaders say could infringe on Native rights.

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page



David E.H. Smith's picture
David E.H. Smith
Submitted by David E.H. Smith on
‘YOU’ Committed, &/or, Enabled Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Against Aboriginal Canadians’, et al, or, Was/Is it Corporate Canada’s (The Canadian Establishment’s) Secret 'Cultural Genocide' Committed Against Aboriginal Canadians’? Truth & Reconciliation between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada, corporate Canada', et al. • Pope Francis may have ‘Difficulty Apologizing to the PM Harper for Residential Schools’ Abuses while PM Continues to Blame & Punish Those Who He Has Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info including the EU? Other Religious Leaders may have similar Difficulties. • What are the various different ways that All Canadians can prevent Secrecy whether it be Human Rights Abuses like The Residential Schools, or, Civil Rights Abuses like the ‘foreign’, &/or, ‘domestic’ treaties? • Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? (Who Will Guard the Guards?) The Redesigned & Elected Senate? • Designer ‘Racism’; Do the Feds Thrive on Continuing to Make Secret Deals with Native & non Native groups in order to Play Both Sides Off of Each Other? • At the time of The Residential Schools abuses & ‘Cultural Genocide’, was the Secrecy surrounding it more, or, less than the secrecy that is now surrounding the TPP & the flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements'; Corporate Canada, The Canadian Establishment & their Media Still Resolute & Without any Remorse? • The Basis for Legislation that Protects All Canadians from the Canadian Establishment, its Secrecy (Treaties/’Arrangements) & Continuing to Play the Most Vulnerable Native Community members off of the Most • Do the Global Corporate Leaders really want to Sign Treaties/'Arrangements' (CETA, TPP, C-CIT/FIPA, et al) with Corporate Canada’s Remorseless Prime Minister (Pay for The WAD Accord's Compensations, etc.) & Being Deprived of Due Diligence Info? • Private Citizens’ Bills to Off-Set Vulnerability to Native & non Native Community members due to Designer ‘Racism’ & Secretive, Sinecure Senate. (CAN) At the risk of annoying Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin & the Justices of The Supreme Court of Canada while they consider the merits of: ‘The Submission’ to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA: ‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, Japan, the EU, Canada, the Trans Pacific nations, et al v. the harmless Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’ (see; davidehsmith.wo¬ including 'The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?' (see; davidehsmith.wo¬, would it be more accurate if the Chief Justice said that it was corporate Canada & its associated religious & governmental leaders that attempted 'cultural genocide' on Aboriginal Canadians as opposed to saying the vague remark that is was ‘Canada’ that attempted the aforementioned 'cultural genocide'? And, what other nations are, &/or, can be, implicated as a consequence of being co-signatories to the recent flurry of Global Treaties/'Arrangements' with Canada? *** Prime Minister Harper; 'Blaming & Punishing Those Who Have Been Deliberately Deprived of the Info’; ‘Inquiry’ Settlements Protect Gratified Rapists, Pedophiles, et al; Courts Only Forum for Justices, Guilt & Reconciliation. RECONCILIATION between: Native & NON Native Canadians AND the Government of Canada & corporate Canada'. Excerpts are from "TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED OPINION regarding the Environmental Impact& Context of the Enbridge's Northern Gateway (Pipeline) Project (NGP), et al" by DEHS. (Last Edited; Nov., 2014) "It is also in the spirit of reconciliation between the most vulnerable Native & non-Native Canadians, et al, that seems that most Canadians are insulted for being blamed for PM Harper deliberately depriving non-Native Canadians, & the world court of public opinion...of the information...& then have the "bright idea" of blaming the good people of Alberta, et al, who have been deprived of the information...Therefore, once again the governments are covering for those who need to continue to benefit from the deprivation of the information. And, this time Canadians are being deprived of the information embodied in the comprehensive version of The WAD Accord, etc., at the peril of the most vulnerable Canadians; the info deprivation is continuing to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. I would also like to thank those members of First Nations communities, et al, who are trying to help make non-Native Canadians, et al, aware of the problems created by the lobbying process, particularly, at the level of the federal government that has resulted in the present "diasporas'" fear regarding their suggesting alternatives, improvements, etc., to the Aboriginal political process... And, in the spirit of the reconciliation of the First Nation in Canada & the people of Canada, I think that it is a very appropriate place to apologize on behalf of: 1) the (individuals &) group of Canadians that were, amongst other things, sexually "satisfied", &/or, gratified, et al, by their abuses in The Residential Schools that caused the compensation, et al, whether the abuse was; a) sexual, b) physical, c) psychological, d) racial, e) cultural, f) religious, et al, & /or, g) et al, 2) the Canadians that, not only caused the environment that permitted the abuses, but, also deprived the Canadian public & the world of the information about the abuses for so long, including; a) the executives of the relevant political parties of Canada, b) the relevant lobbyists, if any, & c) their political representatives sitting in the Parliament of Canada, for continuing in their attempts to off-load their responsibility & their guilt on to the information deprived public. Is it regrettable, or, convenient that the Canadian inquiry looking into the Residential Schools abuses deprived the public of the large amount of information that could have been elucidated by plea bargaining defendants in any adversarial, criminal prosecutions? Furthermore, this protection afforded by inquiries, in general, as opposed to criminal prosecutions, provides a great deal of succour for those who are the direct beneficiaries of the information deprivation as it enables the "deprivers" to continue to assist their global associates in their associates' quest to acquire, manage, control & transport the natural resources that are continuing to be found in Canada...” *** For the FULL ARTICLE, see; Google: PART 4 - ENBRIDGE'S NGP; ‘TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED OPINION...; Enbridge's Northern Gateway (Pipeline) Project... by David E.H. Smith, or, see; ________________________________________ Also see; Google; ‘HELP IS ON THE WAY? U.N.’s Mr. Anaya, et al; 'IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS' & ‘The W.A.D. Accord’ & its Compensation. *** For the FULL 'Submission' to the Supreme Court of Canada, see; The Supreme Court of Canada ________________________________________ For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human (Nature) Rights & Economics by way of the TTIP, the CET Agreement, TPP, C-CI Treaty, et al, and The WAD Accord & List of RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS& NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS, see;