Aboriginal Self Government and the Canadian Justice System Essay

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Aboriginal Self Government and the Canadian Justice System

Through the many inquires which have been made over the past decades in to the Canadian justice system(Brizinski,1993,395) it has over and over again been stated that the present justice system has and is failing Aboriginal people. It is not suited for their cultural needs and does nothing to rehabilitate offenders but rather does the offender more harm then good. It does not address the underlying conditions causing criminal behavior or in assessing what specific needs must be addressed to rehabilitate. The purpose of this paper is to examine why the justice system fails for First Nations persons and alternative rehabilitation methods used by Aboriginal people, comprised of
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In most cases, the individual returns home and assumes the same behavior which got the individual into the system in the first place. Thus, the cause of criminal or unacceptable behavior is not addressed nor is there a restoration of relationships. Since the 1970's the numbers of over representation of aboriginals in the justice system has been shocking,”...Aboriginal people made up approximately 2% of the population of Canada, they made up 10% of the federal penitentiary population. When looked at regionally, the figures were even more distressing. For example, in the prairies, where Aboriginal people made up 5% of the population, they were 32% of the penitentiary population. In terms of incarceration in provincial facilities, the figures were even higher. For example, in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where Aboriginal people made up between 6 and 7% of the population, they made up 46 and 60% of the provincial correctional centers admissions respectively.”(Hylton,1999,207) “At the time of contact with Europeans, Native people had developed very sophisticated systems of government and social control.”(Rudin & Russel,1993,40)
Actions were treated as deserving of sanctions or punishment only if they threatened to disrupt the interrelatedness of the clan, tribe, or environment, because of the holistic approach to life favored by Aboriginal people it was not specific actions which brought about sanctions, but the consequences of actions

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