Canada/Attawapiskat First Nation: UNSR`s Findings

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Canada/Attawapiskat First Nation: UNSR`s Findings
By: OHCHR
20 December 2011
 

I have been in communication with the Government of Canada to express my deep concern about the dire social and economic condition of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which exemplifies the conditions of many aboriginal communities in the country.

Many of this First Nation’s approximately 1,800 members live in unheated shacks or trailers, with no running water. The problem is particularly serious as winter approaches in the remote northern area where the Attawapiskat community lives, which faces winter temperatures as low as -28 degrees Celsius.

The federal Government has recently agreed to provide emergency housing in Attawapiskat to address the crisis situation, placing the community under third party management to oversee spending, as a condition to receiving such housing assistance. However, band members, including the band chief, have denounced the third party management regime, asserting that they are better equipped to respond to the needs of their community than a third party manager.

The social and economic situation of the Attawapiskat seems to represent the condition of many First Nation communities living on reserves throughout Canada, which is allegedly akin to third world conditions. Yet, this situation is not representative of non-Aboriginal communities in Canada, a country with overall human rights indicators scoring among the top of all countries of the world. Aboriginal communities face vastly higher poverty rights, and poorer health, education, employment rates as compared to non-Aboriginal people.

According to the information received, First Nations communities are systematically underfunded as compared to non-Aboriginal towns and cities. This unequal funding is allegedly rooted in various funding formulas and policies used by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to allocate funds to First Nations to support various social and economic programs.

Reportedly, systematic underfunding of First Nations exacerbates their already diminished capacity to attend to the social and economic interests of their members. Further, it not does it appear that the Government is responding adequately to requests for assistance.

Moreover, the Government has allegedly been resisting efforts by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to inquire into allegations of discrimination on the basis of national or ethnic origin related to disparities in funding provided to First Nations as compared to non-aboriginal communities, inquiries that have been requested by First Nations themselves.

In a communication sent to the Canadian authorities on 19 December 2011, I asked the Government to express its views about the accuracy of this information, and requested further details regarding official programs currently in place to address the disparate social and economic conditions of First Nations communities, as compared to non-Aboriginal communities, as well as the disparate social and economic conditions between and among First Nation communities.

As the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples I will be monitoring closely the situation of the Attawapiskat First Nation and other aboriginal communities in Canada, keeping an open dialogue with the Government and all stakeholders to promote good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, and to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples.”

ENDS

On 26 March 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed S. James Anaya Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples for an initial period of three years. The Council renewed his mandate for an additional three years in 2011. Mr. Anaya is a Regents Professor and the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the University of Arizona (United States).

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur:

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/indigenous/rapporteur/

Themes
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Access to natural resources
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Accompanying social processes
• Adverse possession
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Advocacy
• Agriculture
• Agriculture
• Agriculture
• Architecture
• Architecture
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Armed / ethnic conflict
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Basic services
• Children
• Children
• Climate change
• Climate change
• Climate change
• Collectivization
• Collectivization
• Collectivization
• Commodification
• Commodification
• Communication and dissemination
• Communication and dissemination
• Communication and dissemination
• Compensation
• Compensation
• Compensation
• Coordination
• Coordination
• Coordination
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Cultural Heritage
• Demographic manipulation
• Demographic manipulation
• Demographic manipulation
• Demographic manipulation
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Destruction of habitat
• Disability
• Disability
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Disaster mitigation
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Discrimination
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displaced
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Displacement
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Dispossession
• Education
• Education
• Education
• Education
• Education
• Elderly
• Elderly
• Energy
• Energy
• Environment (Sustainable)
• Environment (Sustainable)
• Environment (Sustainable)
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• Epidemics, diseases
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• ESC rights
• Ethnic
• Ethnic
• Ethnic
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Extraterritorial obligations
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Fact finding mission/field research
• Farmers/Peasants
• Farmers/Peasants
• Farmers/Peasants
• Farmers/Peasants
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Financialization
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Food (rights, sovereignty, crisis)
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Forced evictions
• Gender Equality
• Gender Equality
• Gender Equality
• Gentrification
• Gentrification
• Globalization, negative impacts
• Globalization, negative impacts
• Globalization, negative impacts
• Grassroots initiatives
• Grassroots initiatives
• Grassroots initiatives
• Habitat Conferences
• Habitat Conferences
• Habitat Conferences
• Health
• Health
• Health
• Health
• Health
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Historic heritage sites
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Homeless
• Housing crisis
• Housing crisis
• Housing crisis
• Housing crisis
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Housing rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Human rights
• Immigrants
• Immigrants
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Indigenous peoples
• Informal settlements
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• Internal migrants
• International
• International
• International
• Land rights
• Land rights
• Land rights
• Land rights
• Landless
• Landless
• Landless
• Landless
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Legal frameworks
• Livelihoods
• Livelihoods
• Livelihoods
• Livelihoods
• Local
• Local
• Local
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Local Governance
• Low income
• Low income
• Low income
• Low income
• Megaprojects
• Megaprojects
• Megaprojects
• National
• National
• National
• Networking
• Networking
• Networking
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Norms and standards
• Pastoralists
• Pastoralists
• Pastoralists
• People under occupation
• People under occupation
• People under occupation
• Population transfers
• Population transfers
• Population transfers
• Post-disaster reconstruction
• Post-disaster reconstruction
• Post-disaster reconstruction
• Privatization
• Privatization
• Privatization
• Project management
• Project management
• Project management
• Property rights
• Property rights
• Property rights
• Property rights
• Public / social housing
• Public / social housing
• Public / social housing
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public policies
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Public programs and budgets
• Refugees
• Refugees
• Religious
• Religious
• Religious
• Religious
• Religious
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Reparations / restitution of rights
• Research
• Research
• Research
• Research
• Research
• Right to the city
• Right to the city
• Rural planning
• Rural planning
• Rural planning
• SDGs&MDGs
• SDGs&MDGs
• SDGs&MDGs
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Security of tenure
• Solidarity campaign
• Solidarity campaign
• Solidarity campaign
• Squatters
• Squatters
• Squatters
• Stateless
• Stateless
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Subsidies
• Technologies
• Technologies
• Technologies
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Temporary shelter
• Tenants
• Tenants
• Tenants
• Tenants
• Tenants
• Travelers
• Travelers
• Travelers
• Tribal peoples
• Tribal peoples
• Tribal peoples
• UN HR bodies
• UN HR bodies
• UN HR bodies
• UN SR RAH
• UN SR RAH
• UN SR RAH
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• UN system
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Unemployed
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Urban planning
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Water&sanitation
• Women
• Women
• Women
• Women
• Women
• Youth
• Youth
• Youth
• Youth
• Youth

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