MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova pointed out the persisting human rights issues in Canada, urging Canadian authorities to deal with them instead of interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.
She noted the policy of forced assimilation of indigenous people that existed in Canada until the late 1990s.
"Over 150,000 Indians and representatives of northern peoples of school age were taken from their families and put in boarding schools for, as they said then, civilizing. Over 6,000 children died in these semi-penal educational facilities from famine, sexual and other forms of violence, epidemics, and unsanitary conditions. The overall scale of extermination of the so-called First Nations during the colonial period and modern times was so big that the Canadian authorities themselves characterize it as the Canadian genocide," the diplomat noted.
"We consider such a situation absolutely unacceptable, and we urge the Ottawa to get down to solving the glaring problems at home, instead of lecturing others on human rights," Zakharova said. "And to do it with the same frequency as you interfere in our internal affairs."
According to the spokeswoman, despite the achieved progress, the indigenous residents of Canada remain in the vulnerable part of the population with a low standard of living and high rates of suicide, alcohol, and drug addiction.