03/14/2012 08:23 EDT | Updated 05/14/2012 05:12 EDT

Saskatchewan First Nation leader hopes Canada heeds UN recommendations

SASKATOON - A First Nations leader in Saskatchewan says Canada's distribution of resources is systemic, structural discrimination against its indigenous people.

Little Black Bear First Nation Chief Perry Bellegarde says the United Nations rates Canada's quality of life as sixth highest in the world.

But he says if the same indicators are applied to Canada's native population, it comes in at 63rd.

In February, Bellegarde was part of a contingent of First Nations leaders who addressed the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Geneva, Switzerland.

Following their visit, the UN gave Canada a number of recommendations and timelines to address issues, including the creation of a treaty commission, looking into high incarceration rates of indigenous people, and ensuring adequate child welfare services on reserves.

Bellegarde is hoping Canada takes these recommendations as constructive criticism to help close that socio-economic gap.