Amnesty International shook a shameful finger at Canada as well as various Western countries and China on May 28. Canada is getting a failing grade, particularly when it comes to protecting its Indigenous People from violence and defending their rights.
Canada was criticized when it came to not doing enough to fight torture, unfair trials, limited freedom of expression, and social inequality around the world. However, some of the harshest statements were leveled at Canada’s treatment of its First Nations.
As Canada’s own statistical data reveals Aboriginal women are five times more likely than other women to die a violent death, Amnesty suggested that “there is desperate need for a comprehensive national action plan to address the violence and protect indigenous women from discrimination.”
The report also said the public inquiry into the Ontario Provincial Police’s killing of Dudley George at Ipperwash on Sept. 6, 1995, should have provided a blueprint for strengthened protection of Indigenous People’s rights but that did not happen. Instead, “disputes over land and resource rights continued, as did the authorities’ failure to ensure they were resolved promptly and impartially.” The Lubicon Cree of northern Alberta were used as the example for this.
The Canadian government’s refusal to address the disparity in funding for Indigenous child protection agencies and its refusal to sign and implement the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples were also harshly criticized by Amnesty.