First Nations and the Justice System Essay

Published: 2020-01-23 02:32:24
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First Nations are badly represented within our current justice system. They face a forced environment that does not represent their needs. Many of the problems that First Nations peoples face with respect to the justice system are influenced by their historical place in native and early in Canada. The first European settlers view of land ownership was a lot different from the Aboriginal theory that all things are related and development is viewed as circling the four parts of life: physical; mental; emotional; and spiritual. The Europeans didnt understand the Aboriginal spiritual attachment to their land. The concept of land ownership was foreign to Aboriginal culture and they could not understand the concept of owning lands, they believed that land was provided for the use and benefit of all living creatures. In Manitoba, Aboriginal people accounted for 71% of sentenced admissions in 2005/2006 (and make up 16% of the outside population) and aboriginals accused are more likely to be denied bail.

Why are these percentages so high? Well many aboriginals still continue to fight for their rights to hunt and fish, even though they risk a higher chance of going to jail in doing so and most of the members in the jury of court are all non-aboriginals and will not side with them. Another factor that contributes to the high number of aboriginals in jail is the poverty in most of the reserves, the justice system has also contributed to the poverty by not allowing them to fight for their right. Social factors today that contribute to the poverty is, lack of education, there are not many Mikmaq schools that teach kids in the Mikmaq language. Some parents have been in residential schools, and most of those parents are alcoholics due to the way they were treated in the residential schools, being a alcoholic makes it difficult to provide for their family leading to the number of drop outs in schools because the kids feel like they need to take care of their parents.

The number of Aboriginal students finishing high school is still lagging which is well behind the national average. In the 2001 census, 43 per cent of Aboriginal people between the ages of 20 and 24 have not graduated from high school, and not finishing high schools leads too having to find some way of making money, an easy way to make money without a education is selling drugs. For the Canadian population as a whole, the number of non-high school graduates in the same age range is 16 per cent so aboriginals contribute to most of that number. How could the government lower the high number of statistics for first nations people in jail? Well the government could provide a better educations for the mikmaq students, and put more money into reserves that are in poverty. The government could make more job opportunities for Mikmaq people. Maybe put more jobs in the reserves. Either way, the government doesnt do enough to change the statistics for the first nations people in jail.

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