Tunnel vision, eyewitness misidentification, false admissions of guilt, and ineffective assistance of counsel are all more likely to result in a miscarriage of justice if the accused is Indigenous. Some courthouses have only one day or a few days that Gladue Court is available each week. Are there other problems, in addition to the jury selection? Kran, from the UN Human Rights Office, acknowledged that despite access to justice being “firmly rooted” in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other human rights standards, “for many indigenous peoples obtaining access to justice may still seem like a distant goal.” Institutions such as the police and the courts have failed Black and Indigenous people, McNeil told a gathering at a YMCA in downtown Halifax. There is no justice in the justice system for Indigenous peoples in Canada. So therefore you get an acquittal on murder, but the way it works is we have an extremely broad manslaughter offense in Canada. National data that does exist to identify Indigenous people in the criminal justice system include the General Social Survey (GSS) on self-reported victimization, police-reported homicide statistics, and data on provincial/territorial and federal custody. Many Aboriginal organizations have spoken out against Harper’s policies and Bill C-10, such as the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres, which wrote to the prime minister, “It will be Aboriginal offenders, those most disproportionately represented in prisons and at every stage of the justice system in Canada, who will be most affected by this draconian legislation.” The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund also wrote, “Through its [ . To be fair, some defence lawyers will oppose that, but I don't think there’s a Charter right to peremptory challenges. Given that there is going to be under-representation of Indigenous people among prospective jurors, something like the peremptory challenge becomes even more pernicious because, as in this case, it appears like it was used to keep all the Indigenous people off the jury. In 2011, the Harper government announced it would spend $158 million on prison expansion in four provinces, and $2 billion over the next five years to take in an estimated 4,000 new inmates. The reason I focused on jury selection and wrote about it in the Globe and Mail is that once you have 12 people impaneled on a jury, under Canadian law, rightly or wrongly, you’re never going to know why they reached that decision. I sometimes worry that, here in Toronto, we might not recognize its national significance. 1 While Canada now imprisons fewer and fewer young people, more and more of those young people are Indigenous. Why did the prosecution seek a second-degree murder charge, and why couldn’t the jury compromise on a lesser charge? The jury was instructed that if the accused was not guilty of murder that they should consider whether he was guilty of manslaughter. An Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by Postmedia News revealed that 64% of respondents thought that Indigenous peoples already receive too much support from Canadian taxpayers. Throughout Canada, a number of courts have been created that deal specifically with these forms of justice. The relationship between Aboriginal people and the Canadian criminal justice system is broken, and evidence is mounting that a radical change is necessary. It was … One problem that has often been highlighted is the under-representation of Indigenous people on juries. Nearly 20 years ago, Gladue reports were part of a series of justice changes that sought to reduce the vast over-representation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. I think this is obviously going to play out, but as a person who has taught criminal law since 1989, I've seen the ability of Parliament to amend the Criminal Code quickly when they get serious about an issue. However, in administering Canadian law they become ‘agency Indians’ for the Canadian state.” For example, the traditional role of elders in Aboriginal communities has been that of teachers and healers, but under the indigenized Canadian justice system, they have become more like judges who aid in sentencing. This review provides a critical overview of Indigenous peoples’ interactions with criminal justice systems. Roach says that in the Stanley trial, peremptory challenges were used to keep Indigenous people off the jury, and that the Crown never asked jurors whether they had a racial bias against Indigenous people. 1 Rudin J. For example, each inmate in the correctional system costs the federal government approximately $110,000 per year, while one year of supervised release costs only $30,000. It has long been recognized that Indigenous Peoples are overrepresented in all points of the criminal justice system. The presence of systemic racism in Canada's justice system; and; How traditional sentencing principles and practices were failing to properly address the needs and realities of Indigenous peoples. Taking Indigenous Justice Seriously: Fostering a Mutually Respectful Coexistence of Aboriginal and Canadian Justice 1 Ted Palys, Richelle Isaak & Jana Nuszdorfer Simon Fraser University It has long been recognized that the Aboriginal people and Peoples of Canada have been ill-served by the Canadian justice system. The goal, therefore, of Aboriginal justice reform must be self-government and a return to true restorative justice. About Indigenous Peoples and human rights in Canada In Canada, anti-discrimination legislation exists to protect and advocate for the human rights of Aboriginal peoples. Colten Boushie in a photo posted Nov. 6, 2011 (photo via Facebook), Ellie Hisama named dean of U of T’s Faculty of Music, ‘They shall not be forgotten’: U of T marks first anniversary of Flight 752 tragedy, Brain cancer linked to tissue healing: U of T researchers, AMD’s supercomputing partnerships with U of T, other universities to take centre stage at CES, Over-policing in Black communities to be explored in new U of T public health course, Urban studies course forges bond between students and seniors during COVID-19. After 15 hours of deliberation, the jury acquitted Gerald Stanley, a farmer, of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation. He is visiting Canada in October and has asked for people to write to him about these matters. In that release, Ivan Zinger, the Canada’s correctional investigator, reported that Indigenous people make up over 30% of the incarcerated population in Canada, the first time it has ever been that high. Canada has failed its Aboriginal peoples, leaving both sides ensnared in a broken relationship. A peremptory challenge is simply the accused looking at the prospective juror and basically saying “I don’t like the look of this person and I want that person kept off.”. Prime Minister Trudeau is paying very close attention to this case as well. The traditions that are left are fragmentary and watered down, further whitewashing Aboriginal identity. https://shiftermagazine.com/opinion/justice-system-is-failing-indigenous-people Clearly, the system lacks legitimacy in the eyes of Aboriginal people… It focuses on the experiences of Indigenous peoples residing in the four major Anglo-settler-colonial jurisdictions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. ‘one size fits all’ approach to sentencing, Bill C-10 adopts a formalistic approach to equality that will serve to perpetuate the historic disadvantage of marginalized groups.”. When analyzing the historical and current situation of the relationship between Indigenous persons and the CJS it becomes apparent why the Supreme Court of Canada refers to this situation as the ‘Crisis in the Canadian Justice System’. They often try to incorporate Indigenous cultural practices and understandings of justice. Indigenous peoples’ place in the national narrative of the “birth” of Canada has been minimized and viewed as peripheral to the dominant culture’s stories. The Supreme Court has said the fact that more than a quarter of our prisoners are Indigenous is a crisis in the justice system, so then when the same criminal justice system appears to fail either the missing Indigenous women and girls or, many people would say, Colten Boushie, then it’s kind of a ground for despair. The experience of the indigenous peoples in these two countries, with over-representation in the criminal justice system, prisons and child welfare agencies, parallels the experience in Canada for the Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples. I’m a little worried that this will just result in comments of sympathy as opposed to concrete action. The presence of systemic racism in Canada's justice system; and; How traditional sentencing principles and practices were failing to properly address the needs and realities of Indigenous peoples. These Courts divert matters from the traditional criminal justice system within Canada. 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The over-incarceration of Indigenous people in Canada is a crisis that begins earlier than adulthood as Indigenous youth (under 18) represent a disproportionate number of children behind bars. The court system has also contributed, ironically, to the great injustice experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. There’s been a big reaction to this verdict, but are we asking the right questions? Neoliberalism, Settler Colonialism, and the Production of Urban Space workshop on August 20th. Indigenous people are overrepresented in the Canadian criminal justice system as both victims/survivors Footnote 8 and accused/convicted persons. Jerome Turner January 16, 2016 Photo: Sean_Marshall. Special to The Globe and Mail . I don’t know whether communities in Saskatchewan were expecting a murder conviction, but personally I was surprised that the jury did not come back with a manslaughter conviction. Gladue Court is also called Indigenous Peoples Court. . Racism in the justice system is the root cause of wrongful prosecutions and the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in prison today. Canadian Criminal Justice System By Shaista Asmi Social Connectedness Fellow 2019 Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness www.socialconnectedness.org August 2019 . Secondly, the western European model, with its focus on punishment, isolation, and individualism, is totally incompatible with traditional Aboriginal values of non-hierarchy, community, healing, and interdependence. Rather than rely on professionals and authority figures, it places responsibility for solving the conflict in the hands of those parties directly involved in and affected by the crime. 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