APTN National News
OTTAWA– After much stalling, Ottawa finally gave the go-ahead for a UN official who monitors the treatment Indigenous peoples to visit Canada.
James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples, is expected to arrive in October and remain in the country for “several weeks,” according to Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo.
Anaya will meet with First Nations, Metis and Inuit during his stay to “get an understanding of the state of affairs.”
Anaya had been requesting permission to visit since February 2012. He wrote the Harper government at least three times requesting he be allowed in on an official visit.
Special rapporteurs that hold mandates from the UN Human Rights Council can’t enter countries without official consent.
Anaya said in a March letter to the Union of BC Indian Chiefs that he was also considering finding unofficial channels to meet with Indigenous people in Canada if Ottawa continued to ignore his requests.