(Vatican Radio) A United Nations special report is calling on Canada to launch a formal inquiry into the nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada in the past 30 years. The report also asks the government to deal with issues such as sub-standard housing and inadequate education in dealing with Canada’s First Nations.
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United Nations rapporteur on indigenous rights, James Anaya, also writes the human rights problems facing aboriginal people in Canada have reached “crisis proportions,” adding the relationship with the federal government is “strained.’ Anaya visited Canada last October, and met with government officials and members of Canada’s indigenous people.
Of particular concern is the fact that indigenous women and girls are disproportionately the victims of violent crime.
The report notes a “disturbing phenomenon” of missing and murdered aboriginal women, it calls on the national government to launch “a comprehensive, national inquiry” into the issue.
In a statement, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said “While more work needs to be done, the report notes the important steps that have been taken to ensure progress in providing equal access to First Nations, as all other Canadians, to safe housing, education and matrimonial rights,” adding the government “will review the report carefully to determine how we can best address the recommendations.”