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Lack of Attention to Indigenous Rights Tops Amnesty’s Report on Canada

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The Canada bashing continues. This time it comes from Amnesty International, as the country’s treatment of its indigenous population tops the list of its human rights shortcomings in the rights organization’s annual report on world governments, released on May 23.

“There were continuing systematic violations of the rights of Indigenous Peoples,” the report’s summary begins. “Limited progress was made in addressing concerns about human rights violations associated with counter-terror and policing operations.”

It goes on to cite the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal’s refusal to hear a case regarding First Nations children (a Canadian court has since overruled and mandated the tribunal to hear the case), the lack of consultation with the Lubicon Cree after a pipeline spill that unleashed more than a million gallons of oil into the group’s territory, and the myriad water issues plaguing aboriginal communities, among other transgressions. The issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada was also raised, especially regarding the government’s refusal to create a national task force to deal with the problem.

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Aboriginals were not the only thing on Amnesty’s radar regarding Canada: The international human rights group also cited the country for failing to arrest then U.S. President George W. Bush for war crimes when he visited British Columbia last year, “despite clear evidence that he was responsible for crimes under international law, including torture.”

Read more about Canada's grades on Amnesty's website.