- The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Canadian charge d'affaires on Tuesday to express Tehran's concern about the violation of the rights of the indigenous people of Canada.
During the meeting, a Foreign Ministry official told the charge d'affaires that the Islamic Republic condemns the inhumane conditions that the indigenous people, who are called First Nations in Canada, are experiencing and calls on the Canadian government to take the measures necessary to fulfill the rights of these people.
He also said that Iran advises the Canadian government to fulfill its international commitments and cooperate with the indigenous people to find a permanent solution to their problems.
On December 20, 2011, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, issued a statement in light of the serious situation of the Attawapiskat First Nation, a remote community in northern Ontario, Canada, as well as the alleged generally poor living conditions in aboriginal reserves in the country.
"I have been in communication with the Government of Canada to express my deep concern about the dire social and economic condition of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which exemplifies the conditions of many aboriginal communities in the country," he wrote.
"Many of this First Nation's approximately 1,800 members live in unheated shacks or trailers, with no running water. The problem is particularly serious as winter approaches in the remote northern area where the Attawapiskat community lives, which faces winter temperatures as low as -28 degrees Celsius," he added.
Anaya also wrote, "As the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples I will be monitoring closely the situation of the Attawapiskat First Nation and other aboriginal communities in Canada, keeping an open dialogue with the Government and all stakeholders to promote good practices, including new laws, government programs, and constructive agreements between indigenous peoples and states, and to implement international standards concerning the rights of indigenous peoples."