Canada | Opinion

Editorial: Canada can't ignore Native inmate population anymore





"Now that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is an honourary chief of the Blood tribe, he could put another feather in his cap by finally appointing a deputy commissioner of corrections for aboriginal affairs.

We have been banging the drums for this for more than three years, echoing the annual request from Corrections Ombudsman Howard Sapers -- ignored each time by the Harper government -- that such an appointment is not only vital but long overdue.

One of the darker sides of the aboriginal experience in this country -- which had its seeds sown in the residential school fiasco -- is First Nations inmates comprise more than 20% of our federal prison population while representing only 4% of our entire population.

Yet, while there is a deputy commissioner of corrections for women, and even one for human resources, there is no such equivalent for the largest single demographic in our prison system."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Aboriginals in prisons need help (The Toronto Sun 7/15)