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.
Credits: HEATHER YOUNG/QMI AGENCY
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.