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Pow Wow: 2013

Visiting Canada for nine days in October 2013, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples concluded that the country "faces a crisis" when it comes to the situation of these native Canadians. During his stay, James Anaya visited indigenous communities in six provinces and in his final report highlighted the shortage of housing, impoverished local services, and over-crowded homes on the reserves. He also denounced the "alarming" rate of suicide, five times higher than among young Canadians who are not of Aboriginal descent. Similarly, he noted the risk of being killed by intentional violence for aboriginal women stands at eight times the risk for non-aboriginal women. Mr. Anaya also denounced the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration. "Canada consistently ranks among the top countries for its Human Development Index, and yet, despite the wealth and prosperity, indigenous peoples live in conditions comparable to those countries which score much lower on the Index where poverty abounds,” said the UN envoy. * * * © 2013 A text Isabelle Maltais

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