UN offers its two cents on Idle No More

Demonstrators block international border crossers at the Blue Water Bridge as part of an Idle No More rally in Point Edward, ON on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013.



OTTAWA - The United Nations says it wants "meaningful" talks between First Nations and the Canadian government.

The UN weighed in Wednesday after a tense month during which the Idle No More movement erupted into protests and Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence launched a so-called hunger strike to protest the government's budget bill.

"Both the government of Canada and First Nations must take full advantage of this opportunity to rebuild relationships in a true spirit of good faith and partnership," James Anaya, UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people, said in a press release.

Canada's foreign affairs department has been critical of the UN in the past and urged the organization to concern itself with countries with real problems - such as Syria, Iran and North Korea.

"By the UN's own measure, Canada ranks 6th best of all the world's countries on their human development index," spokesman Rick Roth said.

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