UN official to review SFN's fight for treaty acknowledgement

Mon. Oct. 28/13

A United Nations human rights official will take the Snuneymuxw First Nation's fight for treaty acknowledgement into consideration when he drafts a report evaluating the situation of Indigenous people in Canada.

UN Special Rapporteur James Anaya recently finished nine days travelling across Canada to gather information, including a stop at the Musqueam First Nation in Vancouver last week where he met with Snuneymuxw Chief Doug White.

He told Anaya that Canada has consistently failed to honour the Treaty of 1854.White has said the government is "firmly on the pathway to denial" when it comes to acknowledging the treaty and that it has repeatedly been broken during land negotiations.

Anaya said based on his preliminary findings, treaty and aboriginal claims remain "persistently unresolved" throughout Canada, along with a list of other concerns.

"Overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among aboriginal peoples toward government at both the federal and provincial levels," he said.

"It is clear to me that Canada is aware of and concerned about these issues and has taken steps to address them. However, it is equally clear these steps are insufficient.

"The report will be made public and presented to the UN Human Rights Council when it is completed in late 2014.

CMcKenna@nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4230