By Dave Baxter
Native Journalism Initiative Reporter
First Nations leaders in southern Manitoba are on the lookout for public suggestions as they proceed to hunt reforms, whereas Indigenous folks proceed to over-represent these concerned within the prison justice system and people who are behind bars on this province.
In January 2021, the federal authorities was mandated with creating an Indigenous Justice Technique to deal with “systemic discrimination” within the prison justice system and the overrepresentation of Indigenous folks within the justice system.
The feds had been additionally mandated to develop that technique “in session and cooperation with Indigenous companions, provinces, and territories.”
The Southern Chiefs’ Group (SCO) stated that with the federal authorities in search of Indigenous session, a brand new public survey, which was launched on-line this week and may be crammed out anonymously, will assist to make clear SCO’s priorities associated to the justice system and it asks for suggestions on points like prevention, policing, courts, corrections and sufferer’s companies.
SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels stated the group, which represents 34 First Nations communities in southern Manitoba, continues to be alarmed by the variety of Indigenous folks on this province concerned within the justice system, and so they hope that direct suggestions from residents may assist result in methods that carry these numbers down.
In Manitoba, it’s estimated that 70 to 80% of adults at the moment in custody are Indigenous and in response to SCO within the final 10 years there was a 60% enhance within the charges of incarceration of Indigenous males and a 139% enhance within the charges of incarceration of Indigenous ladies on this province.
Indigenous youth are additionally considerably overrepresented within the prison justice system and in incarceration charges as information from a Statistics Canada examine launched in 2018 confirmed that 81% of boys and 82% of ladies incarcerated as minors in Manitoba had been Indigenous.
“One in every of my principal mandates is to scale back the overrepresentation of First Nation residents throughout the Canadian prison justice system,” Daniels stated in a media launch.
“The purpose of this survey is to supply our group members with a voice to assist develop various measures for care that revolve round accountability and private progress, moderately than the present punitive measures of the colonial state.
“The outcomes of this survey will present First Nations management in southern Manitoba with steering on how we are able to work to revive steadiness, well being and actual justice for our folks.”
SCO stated they’ve additionally labored in recent times to create their very own First Nation’s Justice Technique, and that technique features a give attention to restorative justice measures and on providing helps and applications that may stop folks from changing into concerned within the justice system and forestall them from reoffending .
SCO additionally has a Restorative Justice Program that serves a number of southern Manitoba First Nations and at the moment has devoted group justice staff in six of these communities.
“As a pacesetter, I’m chargeable for working with our Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations, and the greater than 81,500 SCO residents signify to create a extra simply Manitoba,” Daniels stated.
The survey, which consists of 16 questions, may be discovered by visiting surveymonkey.com/r/SCO-IJS, and scheduled to stay open till Dec. 18.
No figuring out data will likely be collected as a part of this survey, and all responses are fully confidential, SCO added.
-Dave Baxter is a Native Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Solar. The Native Journalism Initiative is funded by the Authorities of Canada.
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