For Immediate release
CAP demands concrete action following damning report on Indigenous offenders
June 1, 2022 Ottawa, ON
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is demanding the federal government take immediate action to address the systemic racism in Canada’s correctional system. The Auditor General’s latest report highlights the ongoing racism and prejudice Indigenous and Black inmates face when navigating the system and trying to return into society. These are issues the Congress has been highlighting to decision-makers for years.
“The AG’s most recent report reiterates the systemic problems highlighted in three previous reports,” says CAP National Chief Elmer St. Pierre. “Indigenous offenders are lacking cultural supports while incarcerated and face even more barriers when released. How many reports will it take before Ottawa takes action, and commit to reconciliation?”
From the moment Indigenous offenders enter the justice system they face a legacy of prejudice. Indigenous and Black Canadians are sent to maximum-security institutions at twice the rate of others. The report confirms that cultural supports have been on the decline for years, only worsened by the covid19 pandemic.
“Canada cannot continue to ignore countless reports and statistics while also claiming to address Indigenous issues,” says National Chief St. Pierre. “Symbolic gestures and kind words will not help our people recover from centuries of trauma.”
CAP is calling on Justice Minister David Lametti and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino to take immediate action and end systemic racism in Canada’s justice system. Whether through legislation or bureaucratic changes, Indigenous and Black Canadians deserve a fair chance.
Director of Media Relations
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve. Today, over 80% of Indigenous people live off-reserve.