Professor James Anaya, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, completed an official site visit to Canada from October 7-15, 2013 to investigate the human rights system of indigenous peoples here. Moira Gracey, a lawyer at Carranza LLP, was privileged to have been asked by Prof. Anaya to accompany and assist him with the visit along with the senior legal advisor from his Geneva office, Maia Campbell.
The team met with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Musqueam (British Columbia), Hobbema (Alberta), Buffalo River, Regina, and Fort Qu’Appelle (Saskatchewan), Winnipeg and Pukatawagan (Manitoba) Ottawa and Akwesasne (Ontario), and Lac Simon (Québec), and numerous government officials and ministers from those provinces and the federal government.
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Moira was inspired and humbled by the opportunity to see so much of the country and learn about the great challenges aboriginal Canadians face, and their fierce determination to overcome these challenges and maintain their cultures and identities in the face of ongoing assimilationist pressures. The solemnity and importance all of the delegations accorded to the Special Rapporteur’s visit conveyed the enormous significance this process holds for them.
Ms. Gracey will be assisting him with reviewing and summarizing the voluminous information gathered during the trip and preparing his report, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next year.
Click here to read The Special Rapporteur’s statement at the conclusion of his visit.
Click here to visit the Carranza YouTube page and see live videos.