On October 15th 2013 the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, released a statement upon the conclusion of his visit to Canada. In his statement, Anaya reveals that “from all I have learned, I can only conclude that Canada faces a crisis when it comes to the situation of indigenous peoples of the country” (2013:8). Even though Canada was one of the first countries to extend constitutional protection to the rights of indigenous people, Canadian aboriginals experience a well-being gap. Aboriginal teens are more likely to commit suicide; Aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be murdered than non-aboriginal women; housing conditions on reserves are akin to third world countries and Aboriginals experience a disproportionately high incarceration rate (Anaya 2013). Amidst the wealth and prosperity of Canada, the gap between the quality of life of Aboriginal Canadians and non-aboriginal Canadians is disturbing.
Residential schools, systemic-racism, and the repression of Aboriginal heritage and tradition have resulted in a deeply engrained distrust among aboriginals towards the government. Over the last few decades the Canadian government has tried through a variety of initiatives and policies to reconcile with Aboriginal communities. Court victories and greater constitutional recognition of Aboriginal peoples suggest that the Canadian government has recognized their past mistreatment of Aboriginals and have taken steps towards reconciliation. Even with a federal policy geared towards the recognition of past wrong-doings, Aboriginal court victori...
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Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples 1996. Report of the Royal Commission on Aborigonal
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Scoffield, Heather. Pipeline industry drove changes to Navigable Waters Protection ACT,
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