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November 2, 2023
Gatineau, Que. – Statement by NWAC President Carol McBride in response to Ten Years Since Spirit Matters, A Roadmap for Reform of Indigenous Correction in Canada, report of the Correctional Investigator of Canada released November 1, 2023:
“Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator of Canada, has released another damning report highlighting his frustration with the apparent inability – or unwillingness – on the part of federal officials to stem the increasingly disproportionate number of Indigenous Peoples behind bars.
Dr. Zinger correctly labels this inequity as a ‘human rights travesty’ and one of ‘Canada’s more pressing human rights issues’. He points out that he has been calling for change for a decade.
At the Native Women’s Association of Canada, we are also frustrated with the inaction on the part of the federal government and the Correctional Service of Canada. Like Dr. Zinger, we say it is high time for the government to loosen the colonial controls that result in the marginalization, over-criminalization, and over-incarceration of Indigenous people.
No country that considers itself to be a world leader in human rights would allow this injustice to continue. No Canadian should rest easy knowing that 50 per cent of federally incarcerated women are Indigenous. This is a horrific situation that demands an urgent response.
Indigenous communities must be allowed to run their own justice and correctional systems. This transfer of authority should have taken place 10 years ago. The overincarceration of Indigenous people in Canada is an outrageous and racist violation of human rights that must be corrected, starting today.”
For information, or to arrange an interview, contact:
+1 (604) 928-3233
Pour obtenir plus d’information ou prendre des dispositions pour une interview, contacter:
+1 (604) 928-3233