- Category: news
- Created: Wednesday, 09 October 2013 17:49
- Published: Wednesday, 09 October 2013 17:49
- Written by Administrator 3
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By: Staff Writer
Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba’s aboriginal community is organizing a street dance Saturday at Portage and Main to greet the United Nation’s rapporteur on indigenous rights.
James Anaya, special rapporteur for the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations, is in Canada on a nine-day tour to examine the plight of the country’s aboriginal people.
He is meeting with First Nations chiefs and Treaty One leaders on Saturday in Winnipeg, including Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak.
Anaya’s arrival in Winnipeg Saturday is expected to draw hundreds of people to the downtown intersection, not only for the spectacle of the dance but because of Manitoba’s profile lobbying for justice in issues such as missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.
Reports on Anaya's arrival suggest another issue bound to come up is resource development on First Nations land. Nepinak has previously said no energy project should go ahead on lands claimed as traditional without the permission of First Nations.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs communications director Sheila North Wilson posted an invitation for dancers on Facebook Tuesday.
"Calling all jingle dress dancers! Please adorn your regalia and be prepared to dance in unison with the drum to healing, honor and victory songs," the post read. "The healing powers of indigenous women are needed at this time and the circle is yours to bring the energy and power needed to be heard around the world."
The event is expected to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and last 30 minutes.
The Jingle Dress Dance, in which dancers wear dresses adorned with tiny aluminum cones that create the sound of rattles, is known as a healing dance among First Nations.
Earlier coverage of Anaya's arrival indicated his position makes him responsible for promoting laws and policies that support indigenous peoples around the world. He will also examine and issue reports and recommendations on their living conditions.
His second stop in Manitoba is Pukatawagan.
Canadian Press reported that while the rapporteur has no binding authority, he has persuasive powers and aims to shame governments into action by bringing unacceptable conditions to light.
An article on Anaya's website indicates his tour of Canada will take him to an unspecified location in northern Manitoba, as well as communities in Saskatchewan, Quebec, B.C., and Ontario.