Many of the country’s estimated 2.7 million Native Americans live in federally recognised tribal areas which are plagued with unemployment, alcoholism, high suicide rates, incest and other social problems.The UN mission is potentially contentious, with some conservatives almost certain to object to international interference in US domestic matters. Since his appointment as rapporteur in 2008, Anaya has focused on indigenous people in Central and South America.A UN statement said: “This will be the first mission to the US by an independent expert designated by the UN human rights council to report on the rights of the indigenous peoples.”Anaya, a University of Arizona professor on human rights, said: “I will examine the situation of the American Indian/Native American, Alaska Native and Hawaiian peoples against the background of the United States’ endorsement of the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.”The US signed up in 2010 to the declaration, which establishes minimum basic rights for indigenous people round the word first adopted in 2007.
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