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UN: Canada faces crisis over indigenous issues

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October 21, 2013 04:33 PM EST | AP


UNITED NATIONS — UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. official who recently toured Canada says the country is facing a crisis over indigenous issues despite years of efforts to overcome tensions and address problems ranging from poverty to land rights.

James Anaya says Canada has been unable to narrow social disparities between its indigenous and non-indigenous population in recent years. And he says disputes over land and natural resources continue to be a source of tension and distrust.

Such disputes include recent protests against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick, opposed by the Elsipogtog First Nation. The protests turned violent last week when police enforced an injunction to end a demonstration against the exploration. Six police vehicles were set on fire and 40 people were arrested.

Anaya spoke Monday at a news conference.