UN rapporteur to visit Saskatchewan First Nation

The Chief of Buffalo River Dene Nation will have the chance to voice his community's concerns to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Sunday.

The Chief of Buffalo River Dene Nation will have the chance to voice his community's concerns to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Sunday. 

James Anaya will be visiting the remote reserve, located about 450 kilometres north of Prince Albert, Sask., as part of his tour of the country to examine issues faced by First Nations people in Canada. 

Chief Lance Byhette is planning to tell Anaya about health care and housing issues. 

"We have one of the highest rates of TB, in this day and age, in the Buffalo Dene Nation," said Byhette. "I mean that is a real concern."

Byhette also said not much has changed since a different UN Rapporteur visited his community in 2003.

"It is time that we are heard," said Byhette. "It is just like any other town or country or city or province. We want to be successful. We want to be competitive just like anybody else in this world."

Anaya's nine-day tour began Monday and includes stops in urban and remote communities in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. 

He will hold a press conference in Ottawa on Oct. 15 to talk about his findings. Anaya is also expected to deliver his report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

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