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The plight of Canada's indigenous people has been sadly similar to that of their fellow tribes south of the U.S.-Canada border. A recent report by the Canadian Human Rights Commission describes a culture rife with drug and sexual abuse, violent crime, and all manner of physical and mental health problems often associated with generations of economic deprivation. So bad has the situation been for Canada's indiginous peoples that the United Nations has announced its intention to investigate the human rights situation there. As the Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak was quoted in a May 2013 article published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
"Now Canada has to respond to the international community...'What have you done? What more can be done?'"
As in the United States, the Native American communities in Canada have reached a point of desperation. In January of this year, one tribal chief went on a three-week long hunger strike to protest the community's treatment by the government, and with Prime Minister Stephen Harper's refusal to meet with the chief. The hunger strike encouraged increasing numbers of Native Americans to protest their continued victimization, including the continued seizure of native lands and a weak law enforcement response to the murders of hundreds of Native women.
Native American tribes have tried to organize in Canada, but to little positive effect to date. Protests will continue, but the reason the United Nations and other human rights groups are getting involved is because it hasn't been enough.
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