Indigenous peoples in almost all countries experience a lack of recognition of their fundamental political and human rights; globally, they share the worst measures on all indicators of health, education, and social and political participation. James Anaya, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, recently visited Canada and confirmed that it is no exception. He concluded his visit by declaring that there is an indigenous rights crisis in Canada, and that a clear, unequivocal commitment to addressing the rights of indigenous peoples is required. To this end, the Canadian Human Rights Commission should review and address Special Rapporteur Anaya’s report, and establish mechanisms for the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Terry Mitchell is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the Indigenous Health and Social Justice Research Group at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her research focuses on the impacts of colonial trauma, Aboriginal rights and governance issues. Terry is currently leading a collaborative research project on the internationalization of indigenous rights.
Charis Enns is a Ph.D. candidate in global social governance at the University of Waterloo, based at the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Her research examines politics of international development, global governance mechanisms and indigenous land and resource rights.