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May 22, 2014
A proposed oilsands pipeline in British Columbia and Alberta is at the top of a list of construction projects that violate the human rights of First Nations in Canada, says a report from the United Nations.
“In accordance with the Canadian constitution and relevant international human rights standards, as a general rule resource extraction should not occur on lands subject to aboriginal claims without adequate consultations with and the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned,” said James Anaya, the UN’s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, in his published report.
“Further, Canada should endeavour to put in place a policy framework for implementing the duty to consult that allows for indigenous peoples’ genuine input and involvement at the earliest stages of project development.”
Anaya released a report on May 12 on the situation of indigenous peoples in Canada. He said there appears to be a lack of a consistent framework or policy for the implementation of the government’s Supreme Court-mandated duty to consult with First Nations before major projects proceed.