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Policing Services for
Aboriginal Peoples
No. 1993-21
9111111111r.l = milii 191111
_^V.....
9
98
.P75
M44
1993
c.2
Vijay Mehta
Policing Services for
Aboriginal Peoples
No. 1993-21
The views expressed in this working paper are those of the author
and are not necessarily those of the Ministry of the Solicitor
General of Canada. It is made available as submitted to the
Ministry of the Solicitor General.
Cat: JS4-1/1993-21
ISBN: 0-662-60059-2
,P-75
Aire
/513
itsresefiWecomme ,
Wes
Ile
"Policing Services For Aboriginal Peoples
A review of =rent trends and developments and an
analysis of the impact on policing services
for Aboriginal Peoples,'
Submitted to
Aboriginal Policing Directorate
Solicitor General, Canada
Prepared by
Mr. Vijay Mehta
Canada Research Institute
February 18, 1993
e
I.
II.
INTRODUCTION
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
..
................5
OBJECTIVE
Purpose of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Objectives of the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
III.
METHODOLOGY
Approach to the Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
IV.
AN OVERVIEW OF ISSUES AND TRENDS
Demographic Trends and Other Socio-Economic Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Urban Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .' . . . . . . 18
Language Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Education Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Aboriginal Offenders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Aboriginal Self-Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Summary .................................................. 26
V.
OVERVIEW OF RECENT EXAMINATIONS INTO POLICE-ABORIGINAL RELATIONSHIPS
Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall, Jr., Prosecution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Reports of the Saskatchewan Indian Justice & Metis Justice Review Committee ....... 32
Task Force on the Criminal Justice System and its Impact on the
Indian and Metis People of Alberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
Report on Aboriginal Peoples and Criminal Justice:
Equality, Respect and the Search for Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Summary .................................................. 35
VI.
POLICING SERVICES FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLES
The Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
The Potential Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
VII.
CONCLUSION
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Appendix
Bibliography
List of Contacts
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 4
IV-1.
IV-2.
IV-3.
IV-4.
IV-5.
IV-6.
IV-7.
Aboriginal Population for 1960, 1991, and projected trend to 2000
Aboriginal Population in Canada
Aboriginal Population by Age, 1981 - 2000
Aboriginal Population: Major Urban Centres
Aboriginal Language - Comparative
Level of Education - Comparative
Aboriginal Offender Population by Regions
February 18, 1993
Final Report
13
14
17
15
20
21
22
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 5
I. INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this report is to provide focused, timely and meaningful information on the likely
impact of current trends on urban Aboriginal policing issues to the year 2000.
Aboriginal peoples currently represent approximately three percent of the overall Canadian
population. Within the general definition of Aboriginal peoples, are included status/treaty
Indians, non-Status Indians, Metis, and Inuit peoples. In all categories of Aboriginal peoples,
with the possible exception of the Inuit, there are further sub-categories. For example, Status
Indians are represented by over 100 Tribal "Nations" situated on approximately 600 reserves
across Canada.
Migration from reserves to urban areas has been increasing over the past several years and it is
estimated that approximately 30 to 35 percent of all status Indians reside off-reserve. For some
reserves, the percentage of non-reserve members exceeds 70 percent. It is further estimated that
within twenty years, there are likely to be about two million Aboriginal peoples, accounting for
nearly seven percent of the nation's inhabitants.
While Aboriginal peoples comprise only three percent of the Canadian population, they represent
an estimated nine to ten percent of the inmate population in Canada. In several western Canadian
correctional institutions, Aboriginal peoples comprise over 50 percent of the institutional
population. Of that inmate population, approximately 70 percent of those inmates committed
their offenses off-reserve.
This report will discuss the underlying factors, concerns and future issues that are likely to have
significant impact on policing and law enforcement and on urban Aboriginal communities,
because now, more than ever, there is a need to be proactive in anticipating off-reserve policing
issues, and in finding ways to turn those issues into opportunities for improving the quality of
police/urban Aboriginal services.
There are also a number of situational factors which will impact on policing services for
Aboriginal peoples. Consequently, this report will further examine from a largely urban
perspective the non-reserve regional, political and socio-economic context, identify current and
future concerns, trends and developments, and assess their impact for law enforcement agencies
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 6
and urban Aboriginal communities. It will attempt to establish a common understanding of the
existing environment and facilitate a more comprehensive response to policing services for
Aboriginal peoples in• the future. More specifically, the report will identify and provide
information on key issues impacting on police organizations, Aboriginal groups, and
municipal/urban communities who work with or encounter issues facing urban Aboriginal
policing.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page
•8
II OBJECTIVE
Purpose of the Study
The principal objective of this report is to identify key issues impacting on the provision of
policing services for Aboriginal peoples residing in urban areas.
The report identifies and analyzes the regional, political and socio-economic context in which
these issues are grounded and provides an accurate "overview" of off-reserve policing. It also
identifies options for enhancing police services to Aboriginal peoples living in urban centres.
Objectives of the Study
In support of the principal objective, two secondary objectives have been identified and are as
follows:
• To provide a report which will serve as the basis of understanding on key issues and
trends affecting policing services for Aboriginal peoples.
• To identify short-term, intermediate and future issues affecting urban Aboriginal
policing.
February
18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 10
III METHODOLOGY
Methodological Approach
The methodological approach selected for this study respects the unique and sensitive nature of
the subject matter.
The report seeks to describe the police-Aboriginal relationship in a changing social context and
to define it as a coherent, dynamic process. Linkages between the two principal components,
law enforcement agencies and the urban Aboriginal constituency, are identified and described,
and their impact on each other is reviewed.
A li terature review of the political, economic and social policies and trends related to urban
Aboriginal policing was undertaken to provide the context in which urban police services are
developed, managed, delivered and supplied, on the one hand, and consumed or received, on the
other.
After the literature review, key individuals who are involved in developing and shaping relevant
policies and in managing and delivering police services to urban communities were interviewed.
The purpose of these interviews was to determine their perspectives on the emerging issues. The
information generated through the interview stage was assessed, analyzed and incorporated within
the report.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 12
Demographic Trends and Other
Socio-Economic Conditions*
This section presents the reader with an overview of some characteristics of the current offreserve population, trends in urban migration, and socio-economic conditions likely to affect
policing services for Aboriginal peoples. Chart 1 provides a current snapshot of overall
Aboriginal population in Canada.
CZ
Aboriginal Population
in Canada
\1
f
/
sl
,LI
,/
.\
Tr.1%..ft.
A le% rrrutt à ire.- m•rmr......DR IEs .7
•..._........71‘. '----'.r'
---,ea%
f
-,
.e. ;
.
.....--1
-,.?
n...
85.200
/
/
tg■.
-
,.,
Ç
e‘i ,,,,,,,,,
,1\..A
t'' ‘3"-InD-•
8 1 ,000
\.•-\.
ONTARIO \1k,
fi
-
i‘
* 1991 Census
February 18, 1993
Final Report
i \.,
... jj
,-,_-__..
( - PEI
NFLD1ft,
9.5 )0.`,,,>
77-à‘ '--1-4,,
1.3e,)
..---, . t. -,...'
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 13
There are nearly 737,000 Canadians of Aboriginal descent representing 3% of the total
population, of whom 549,000 are Indians, 152,000 Metis and 36,000 Inuit. Only 46% (326,000)
reside on reserves or in Native settlements. Even among "status" Indians, whose benefits are tied
to their residency on a reserve, only 56% remain on reserves, down from 87% in 1960 and 98%
in 1950.
Aboriginal peoples are the fastest growing segment of the country's population, with a birth rate
more than three times that of non-Aboriginal peoples. Within 20 years there are likely to be
nearly two million Aboriginal peoples, accounting for 6.5% of the nation's inhabitants. Table
IV-1 presents Aboriginal population for the years 1960, 1991, and the projected trend to the year
2000. Alberta's Aboriginal population is expected to quadruple by 2010 to almost 400,000, at
which time they will form more than 13% of the province's anticipated 2.9 million residents.
Table
iv-1. Aboriginal Population in Major Canadian Cities
'
Legenc.1
90,000_
II
80,000—
1960
1991
2000
70,000_
60,000_
50,000_
40,000_
30,000_
20,000_
10,000_
Ed mon ton
l000_
February 18, 1993
Mar
.'
gri
•%7,
tr.
Final Report
um
6.
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 14
The majority of Aboriginal peoples (55%) live in the four Western provinces, and an
overwhelming number (76%) live in northern Ontario, the West and the two Territories.
Saskatchewan has the highest per capita population of Aboriginal peoples. Nearly one in 12
(7.9%) of the province's citizens is an Aboriginal, including 55,000 Indians, 26,000 Metis and
600 Inuit. Saskatoon has an Aboriginal population of 5.6%, accounting for the highest proportion
of Aboriginal residents of any Canadian city. Manitoba is second with 7.7% of its population
claiming Aboriginal ancestry. Alberta, with 104,000 Aboriginals, is third at 4.0%. Edmonton
has the largest Aboriginal population of any major Canadian city; 34,500 Edmontonians (4.6%)
are either Indian or Metis. It is further estimated that in the next two decades the Aboriginal
population of Edmonton and Winnipeg will double. Within the same time frame, the Aboriginal
population is expected to triple in Saskatoon and Regina. Demographers suggest this is a result
of their proximity to chronically poor northern reserves. Table IV-2 identifies Aboriginal
population in Canada, and Table IV-3 provides information on Aboriginal population in urban
centres.
Aboriginal Population In Canada*
Q11"g
Utatibmf,
Male
Female
89165
82285
260105
280180
1991 C ensus Canada
Table IV-2: Aboriginal Population in Canada
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 15
In Ontario, the total recorded Aboriginal population is 167,375, accounting for 1.8 percent of the
total population. Of this figure, the off-reserve Aboriginal population is 141,225, while onreserve is 26,142. Toronto's Aboriginal population is 33,000, which comprises one percent of
the city population; however, Aboriginal agencies estimate that given migration patterns and
trends, the Aboriginal population is nearly 70,000. In a recent report, the Ministry of the
Attorney General of Ontario estimated that 20 percent of Ontario's Aboriginal population live
in Toronto.
Aboriginal representation in the provinces is dwarfed by that in the territories. Over 56% of the
Northwest Territories' 54,000 residents are Native. So are 20% of 26,000 Yukoners. When the
new territory of Nunavut is created, sometime before 1997, it will likely be nearly 90% Inuit.
The age breakdown of the off-reserve Aboriginal population is also significant. In 1981, the
median age for off-reserve residents was ten years less than that of the Canadian population: i.e.
where the average age of non-Aboriginal Canadian is 30 years, the average age of an Aboriginal
person is 20 years. Table IV-4 summarizes the 1981 and 2000 breakdowns of the population by
age.
Population By Am 1981 and 2000
itltib^
0-14
15-34
35-64
65+
37
29
30
4
27
45
23
5
23
20
48
9
19
22
46
14
Table IV-4: Aboriginal Off-Reserve vs. Canadian Population by Age - 1981 & 2000
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 16
Among Aboriginal peoples, only 6 or 7 percent are over 55. In Canada's total population, that
proportion is 20 per cent. Aboriginal urban communities have a tlemendous number of young
people, the result of a recent baby boom. Among urban Aboriginal peoples, 38 per cent are
under 15, compared with 21 per cent of the whole Canadian population.
It is also interesting to note the age group of 15-34 will be the group most likely to come into
conflict with the law. This 15 through 34 year old age cohort should be of special interest to
police officials, as it includes those individuals who are potential offenders under the Young
Offenders Act, those individuals who are subject to special risks of victimization related to drugs,
alcohol and behaviour associated with youth gangs, and those individuals who exhibit a higher
rate of criminal activity.
The potential implications of this age group for policing services both directly on the policing
organization and indirectly through changes in demands for services include:
• An increase in offenses related to drugs, alcohol, behaviour associated with youth,
thefts, and vandalism;
• An increase in traditional types of crime (breaking and entering, robberies); and,
• An increase in demands on service for policing, corrections and other components of
the justice system dealing with Aboriginal peoples.
Knowledge of the basic demographic characteristics of urban Aboriginal populations is
fundamental to understanding, planning and providing the policing services commensurate with
the needs of the community. Police organizations must have knowledge of the characteristics of
the population that is to be served, and must be able to predict how the population is likely to
change over time.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 17
Canada Research Institute:
Halifax
1885
2035
Montreal
10560
12135
Toronto
15585
17365
Winnipeg
12905
15415
Regina
3885
4730
Saskatoon
4710
5305
Calgary
7180
8065
Edmonton
13505
14440
Vancouver
15375
16660
Aboriginal Population Data ase, 1991
Table IV-3: Aboriginal Population
February 18, 1993
-
Major Urban Centres
Final Report
o
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 121
Urban Migration
Given the demographic trends and other socio-economic conditions, it is obvious that urgent
attention must be paid to Aboriginal peoples who are left behind the growth process and the
economic progress that have benefited the vast majority of urban residents. While there has
always been a poor and disadvantaged population in Canadian cities, there is widespread evidence
that Aboriginal peoples are moving to, and forming a new distinctive disadvantaged group in
urban centres.
Aboriginal peoples are turning away from their reserves to major urban centres. This movement
is taking place amidst a backdrop of deép-seated need where on-reserve communities are unable
to sustain or satisfy current requirements, and where off-reserve locations are already saturated
by the national baby boom population.
This migration will affect and quite possibly change the delivery of overall police services
provided to Aboriginal peoples living in urban areas. The following characteristics of a high
migration band has been developed for review by both law enforcement offiçials and Aboriginal
community representatives in order that they be made aware of such characteristics for future
po lice- Aboriginal relations.
racterESt
................
February 18, 1993
Final Report
0
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 19
Economic restructuring, occupational competitiveness, technological changes and employment
uncertainty have combined with social situations such as the absence of family support structure,
or a social support network, alcohol and substance abuse, and dependence on welfare, to further
disadvantage Aboriginal peoples in urban settings.
One further consequence of this new urban demography, again accentuated by associated changes
in lifestyle, occupations and jobs, household incomes, has been the emergence of a more
polarized social landscape. Up-scale elite neighbourhoods now co-exist with down-scale
neighbourhoods and deteriorating public housing projects in a complex geographic mosaic. The
old image of a visibly depressing, impoverished, and crime-ridden inner city surrounded by and
increasingly homogenous and affluent suburban belt is changing. In its place is a new reality,
a much more complex and varied social landscape, a landscape in which variations in social
status are sharper, more distinctive, and less easily mapped. Our urban centres have become less
homogeneous, and richer and poorer, at the same time.
Aboriginal peoples, to a large extent, have not been beneficiaries of any urban growth. The
polarization between various groups could have serious public safety implications for the delivery
of police services. Indeed, the problems of Aboriginal peoples who have migrated to urban
centres includes increased alienation and conflict with the law. Law enforcement agencies
therefore, face a formidable challenge in responding to Aboriginal needs while being subjected
to a climate of continued fiscal restraint.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 20
Language Factor
One of ten Aboriginal persons living off-reserve has identified an Aboriginal language as their
mother tongue. Table IV-5 provides information on Aboriginal language conditions.
PERSONS OF ABORIGINAL ORIGIN AND TOTAL POPULATION
SPEAKING ENGUSIL CANADA WITHOUT QUEBEC,
(IQ
100
e,. . .
, ,
•
ie•
-.,
.., ..
,,....,-,
W.;
M=I•
1, •
.
,.
ISZERIMI0
t.
• =---....
..._
• • -1-1.4
,
1 . e,..
4
o
s:
1.1.• .
.
..,‘.........n.
,..
d
MTN_ PC•ULATZE4
(CANADA W/0 011E11E1
Q
yews orer D &Gus.' Affli FpeNal
Table IV-5: Aboriginal Language Conditions
naum
PERSONS OF A8ORIGINAL ORIGIN ANO TOTAL POPULATION
SPEAKING FRENCH, QUEBEC ONLY, 1986
100
OleJlettl«
TOTM. POPULA11011
gamete COdLY)
la repeat ONLY D niesam40 ea»
An understanding of political, education and language factors is critical to provision of effective,
culturally appropriate police services to Aboriginal peoples.
Hence, law enforcement agencies need to develop an awareness of the political values and beliefs
that inform Aboriginal culture, the education backgrounds of Aboriginal peoples, and the sense
of linguistic alienation experienced by many Aboriginal peoples. Police serving Aboriginal
peoples need to be aware of, and respond to these underlying factors.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 21
Education Factor
The urban Aboriginal population is to a large degree more literate and educated than Indians
living on-reserve. Although plagued by problems such as funding levels, recruitment and
retention of teachers, adequacy of school facilities, equitable school standards, and a need for
appropriate traditionally and culturally sensitive Aboriginal curricula, the educational
characteristics of Aboriginal persons living off-reserve appear to be significantly closer to those
of the Canadian population as a whole. Given the increasing migration of peoples from reserves
to urban centres, police will encounter a broad range abilities.
Table IV-6 provides a comparison of the levels of education of Aboriginal peoples (on- and offreserve) and non-Aboriginal peoples.
LEVEL OF EDUCATION OF PERSONS OF ABORIGINAL ORIGIN
AND TOTAL CANADIAN POPULATION, CANADA,
Table 1V-6: Aboriginal Education
February 18, 1993
Final Report
I
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 22
-
Aboriginal Offenders
The need to address the complex and specific issues of Aboriginal peoples in urban areas is•
given that approximately 70 per cent of all Aboriginal inmates are in institutions for importan,
crimes committed off-reserve.
Moreover, the numbers are growing. The rate of growth of the Aboriginal offender population
has exceeded that of the general inmate population every year since 1982-83. For example, the
Prairie region has the largest growth rate of Aboriginal offenders and in March 1987, Aboriginal
offenders comprised 31 per cent of the offender population in the Prairies.
The difficulty here lies in the creation of national policies, programs and standards; the issue is
complicated by the variation in the proportion and nui. -..pers of Aboriginal offenders from region
to region. Table IV-7 highlights the range of Aboriginal offender population by regions.
REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF ABORIGINAL INMATE POPULATION
AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL INMATE POPULATION'
•
Seem
Te 1.1 Inmate
Pepulathele
Picala
1531
AberWaal
Waffle Am
p•rseatege 41
1e1.4 Inmat •
Abed,lot41
Inmate
Pillow,Wee
208
Praitve*
2221
730
Omni
3383
144
Cue«
3472
28
AtlaftlIt
102 $
33
/14114otal
1 1 4 72
1143
.
Ola *dilution
41 AbetigInal
Inmate
pegageliew by
limo «
13. 1
14.1
32.7
13.1
4.3
12.8
.73
3.2
8.1%
• 1041tobes geeyincee imams bi league bummed
$turm
Cureadedial Sbreica 01 CIA«. Pepuisials Pnbabb Rosen
Table
February 18, 1993
1990
IV-7: Aboriginal Offender Population by Regions
Final Report
2.3
2.3
1118.0%
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 23
Aboriginal Self-Government
An appreciation of the political aspirations of Aboriginal peoples is essential, as these developments
will have significant implications for the way in which police services are provided to Aboriginal
peoples.
The current Aboriginal political viewpoint on self-government is founded upon a host of historical
concepts involving Aboriginal rights to the land, nationhood status, treaties, the British North America
Act (BNA), the Indian Act, and the Canadian Constitution. These Acts in themselves are not
perceived as a basis for Aboriginal self-government but they are a clear indication that all levels of
government recognize the special status and rights of Aboriginal peoples.
Many Aboriginal peoples believe that they have a right to self-governmenfas sovereign nations who
have never given up their authority and nationhood, and that such jurisdiction is of a nature that no
one or no other government has ever taken or can take from them. Aboriginal peoples argue that
most of the political and social institutions imposed on them do not meet their needs. Indeed, they
suggest that they alone are in a position to develop the types of structures suitable for their own
governments.
Current Aboriginal political expectations revolve increasingly around the following four areas:
n Settlement of land/treaty claims;
n Enhancement of local control;
n Facilitation of relationships with government departments; and,
n Establishment of government-to-government relationship with Canada and the Provinces.
To the extent that it serves as a basis for comparative analysis, Aboriginal peoples are determined
now, more than ever, to attain a level of political recognition which they believe has been granted
to more "newly arrived Canadians." Though they have been socially, economically, and politically
quarantined, they continue to seek a recognition of self-government and their place in the larger
Canadian society, where heightened political awareness would assure them special recognition within
the framework of the Canadian Constitution.
Governments are shaped by and in turn shape the physical and social settings in which they are
created and operate. In relation to their immediate community settings, Aboriginal governments are
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page
• 24
responding or need to respond to issues and forces that arise from social and cultural trends, economic
development, the land claims question, history and tradition, and political decision malcing patterns.
There is an overwhehning possibility that Aboriginal controlled police programs, whether on or offreserve, will be a contingency of Aboriginal self-government. This substantial re-ordering of
legislative powers will have significant impact on the treatment of Aboriginal peoples within the
Canadian justice, corrections and police systems, while attempting to address the fo ll owing questions:
• The types of policing services Aboriginal peoples require;
• Weaknesses of existing off-reserve policing services and possible solutions;
• The extent to which the Aboriginal urb an community c an participate, or have responsibility for
their own policing;
• Through what processes Aboriginal peoples will assume control over policing services, and how
quickly should developments occur;
• Criteria needed to determine requirements for levels of policing services directed at Aboriginal
peoples; and,
• The roles and responsibilities of the federal and provincial governments.
Finally, though political strides and efforts continue, the recent failure to ratify the negotiated
Charlottetown Accord leaves many of these political gove rnan ce issues unresolved.
February
18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 25
A summary of socio-economic conditions is provided in the following Table*, and serves to point
out additional inequities impacting on urban Aboriginal peoples.
Child W elfare:
tunes the national
ore than five
IncQme
average
•
..........................................................
provincial penitentiaries. In mmitdbti.:54eâtoew*
mOre than 40 per t:ent of the prison population. The
Causes o
Ab.prie:t
•••Afririeg
seeeeymerseee04
.rititude
yiotent.pèàtb::::,
thre
ti.thethe riat.10
en atiOna
:". les than a n(
:
mee: The jig. ék.p.èfâfiè.:s. i:::e-Ati:cieigiei.*.i:>
(al:Wdlnefr.eati , expect
rfoSpitat: ;Ai:
* Canada Research Institute: Aboriginal Conditions Database, 1991
February 18, 1993
Final Report
10 yews
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 26
Surrimary
The urban Aboriginal population is changing greatly in its numbers and characteristics and the
concomitant rapidity of migration to urban centres will have significant impacts for policing and
law enforcement. For example, the Aboriginal population is younger than the rest of the
Canadian population. Levels of education and other characteristics also differ dramatically when
the two populations are compared. These demographic differences raise questions about the
treatment of Aboriginal peoples within the Canadian justice, corrections and police systems.
They indicate the relative need for such services as health care, child care, and education. They
point to the significance of promoting adult literacy as a matter of urgent attention. They portray
a labour force with very different characteristics from the general Canadian labour force.
Particular social groupings within Aboriginal communities often take on critical cultural roles that
have socio-cultural impact. Elders hold a particularly important place in Aboriginal communities,
whether on or off-reserve. They play significant educational, historical, and political roles as they
pass on the wisdom of their peoples. The focus on the roles of women in Aboriginal
communities, the social circumstances they experience, and the key cultural responsibilities they
retain is also of significance in developing police services for urban Aboriginal peoples.
Cultural issues and their relation to the aspirations of Aboriginal self-government deserve careful
attention. This is particularly true of matters relating to language and education factors, and their
effect on political discourse in particular. When Aboriginal peoples discuss and debate critical
political issues with other Canadians, the two groups may fail to communicate because key words
may mean very different things to each. Words such as "gove rn ment", "politics", and
"sovereignty" do not readily translate into Aboriginal languages. As a result, their use to describe
and analyze Aboriginal self-government can be either misinterpreted or misleading. A greater
awareness of this possibility and attention to the words, images and concepts that various
Aboriginal peoples use to describe their political ways are necessary in order to effect or provide
effective policing services.
Police services serving Aboriginal peoples have to make a considerable investment in relationship
building with Aboriginal communities. In spite of continuing efforts, tension still exists between
the police and the urban Aboriginal community. While there may be considerable dispute about
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 27
its degree or its causes, there is little argument about its existence. The rapid migration to urban
centres, the age cohort that is most likely to come into conflict with the law (15-34), the
alienation of urban Aboriginals coupled with the lack of opportunities present police departments
with immediate challenges.
The complete range of expertise required to meet these challenges may not be readily available
within police structures. Consequently, it may be necessary to consider the use of specialized
resources to assist urban police departments in coming to terms with shifting patterns in
Canadian urban life.
Additionally, law enforcement agencies should recognize the strong possibility that the next few
years will see two developments:
n Continuing restrictions on the resources available for policing services; and,
n Changes in the nature and levels of demands for policing services.
These two developments will assume significant importance for policing services to the year
2000.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 29
V Overview of Recent Examinations into Police-Aboriginal Relationships
Commissions, Inquiries, Task Forces on
Aboriginal Justice, Police and Corrections
This section provides an overview of recent examinations into the relationhip between
Aboriginal peoples and the justice system. Remarkably, there have been more than fifty-two
government-sponsored justice studies since 1967, when the Canadian Corrections Association
released an initial report entitled Indians and the Law.
The various studies have led to exhaustive recommendations on Aboriginal justice, corrections
and police issues, many of which have been, or are being implemented. Interestingly, the
same recommendations are echoed in nearly all the reports. The redundancy of these
recommendations serves to highlight the continuing concerns of the current system as well as
the need for effective, meaningful change.
In this section efforts have been taken to provide a snapshot of the recommendations of the
following reports directed at Police-Aboriginal relationships:
February 18, 1993
Final Report
o
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 30
Authority
Subject
Date
Province of Nova Scotia
The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall. Jr., Prosecution
1989
Objective
The Royal Commission was to determine why Donald Marshall. Jr. was wrongfully convicted and to make
recommendations to ensure that such a miscarriage of justice did not happen again.
Findings & Recommendations
General:
. The criminal justice system failed Donald Marshall, Jr.. at every point from his arrest and conviction up to
and beyond his acquittal by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia;
• This miscardage of justice could have been prevented if those involved had displayed professional and/or
competent behaviour in discharging their responsibilities; and,
• The fact that Marshall was Aboriginal contributed to the miscarriage of justice.
Specific:
Policing:
. That the Police Commission "be provided with sufficient resources to enable it to fulfil properly the
leadership, training, information and assessment roles that constitute its mandate";
• That visible minority group members be recruited by the RCMP and municipal police departments;
. That police departments develop outreach programs and liaison roles in order to provide visible minorities
with greater access to and more positive interaction with the police;
. That law enforcement agencies in conjunction with the Departments of the Attorney General and Solicitor
General should adopt and publicize a Policy on Race Relations committed to employment equity, the
elimination of inequalities based on race, and the reduction of racial tensions between these
Agencies/Departments and the communities with which they interact;
. That cross-cultural training programs be established with a view toward developing Aboriginal specific
components; involvement of more Aboriginal communities in such programs; and, mandatory training for
those involved in Police-Aboriginal situations;
• An affirmative action policy be encouraged to support Aboriginal peoples in meeting the police recruitment
requirement;
. Aboriginal police instructors be employed as regular member staff in law enforcement agencies;
• . A recognition that a major population shift is occurring across Canada, with the result that many Aboriginal
Canadians are living off-reserve;
. Monitoring and evaluation talce place among police officials assigned to high pressure policing functions
associated with Aboriginal policing, in order to detect cases of frustration, unsuitability and/or "burn out";
and,
Nova Scotia police departments support and participate in any community-based "diversion" and crime
prevention programs with Aboriginal communities.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 31
Authority
Subject
Date
Province of Manitoba
Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba
1991
Objective
The objective of the Manitoba Inquiry was "to inquire into, and make findings about, the state of conditions with
respect to Aboriginal peoples in the justice system in Manitoba" and to suggest ways in which these conditions
might be improved. The Inquiry was asked to consider all aspects of the J.J. Harper and Helen Betty Osborne
cases and to make any additional recommendations that it felt appropriate with respect to those cases. The
Commission's scope included all components of the justice system, including policing, courts and correctional
services.
Findings & Recommendations
General:
• The justice system was insensitive and inaccessible and had failed the Aboriginal peoples of Manitoba on a
massive scale;
• Incremental changes to the justice system would be insufficient to address the current problems; and,
• A separate justice system for Aboriginal communities be established.
, Specific:
Policing:
• Utilize a community based policing approach in Aboriginal communities;
• Establish employment equity programs to achieve greater Aboriginal representation;
• Strengthen and review cross-cultural education programs;
.
Recognition by police agencies of the right of Aboriginal peoples beyond the normal aspects of policing;
• Review to effect systemic changes in Manitoba's policing, courts and overall justice system;
• Develop a "police file" on critical areas that need to be resolved in policing Aboriginal matters;
.
Provide training, counselling and education programs to police officials on aspects of Aboriginal culture;
• Re-training any member of the police establishment found to have intolerant, culturally biased or prejudiced
attitudes towards Aboriginal peoples;
• A Police Advisory Committee be set up to help establish programs, priorities and recruitment efforts on
behalf of the Aboriginal agenda; and,
• Testing procedures be put in place to screen for radical and cultural insensitivity by all police officials.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 32
Authority
Province of
Saskatchwean .
Subject
Date
Report of the Saskatchewan Indian Justice &
1992
Metis Justice Review Committee
Objective
• Indian Justice Review Committee - to examine ways to make changes within the present criminal justice
system. and to encourage expansion of the positive changes already underway, resulting in a system of
justice that is more fair and equitable to Indian peoples.
•
• Metis Justice Review Committee - to facilitate consultation on the criminal justice system as it relates to
Saskatchewan Metis peoples and communities and to prepare recommendations relating to the delivery of
criminal justice services to these communities.
Findings & Recommendations
Specific:
Policing
• That police services implement employment equity programs to achieve Aboriginal participation equivalent
to the Aboriginal proportion of the province's population;
• Establish an Aboriginal liaison/cultural relations officer position within the Saskatchewan Police
Commission;
. Introduce, monitor and refine cross-cultural and sensitivity training for all law enforcement officials;
• Law enforcement agencies review their mandates and obligations to respect Aboriginal culture, needs and
spirituality;
• On-site visits to Aboriginal communities be conducted with Native policing members and Aboriginal
organizations;
. An Aboriginal-specific police agenda be defined, and further, that regional and national conferences be
undertaken to address all issues;
Re-establish information channels with law enforcement agencies to respond to the needs of Aboriginal
communities in Saskatchewan; and,
A manual be published outlining Aboriginal treaty rights, hunting and fishing rights, and Native selfgovernment positions to members involved in policing Aboriginal Canadians.
Februaxy 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 33
Authority
Subject
Date
Province of Alberta
Task Force on the Criminal Justice System and its Impact
on the Indian and Metis People of Alberta
1991
Objective
The objective of the Task Force was:
to complete a review of the criminal justice system in Alberta as it relates to Indian
and Metis peoples and to provide a report for the Solicitor General of Canada, the
Attorney General of Alberta and the Solicitor General of Alberta. which identifies any
problems and proposes solutions to ensure the Indian and Metis peoples receive fair,
just and equitable treatment at all stages of the criminal justice process in Alberta.
The scope of the inquiry encompassed the criminal justice system only and its effects
upon Indian and Metis people in urban, rural, reserve and isolated areas.
Findings & Recommendations
General
. Aboriginal peoples do not comprehend the justice system; and,
The Criminal Justice System is much too obtuse and removed to serve Aboriginal needs.
Specific:
Policing:
Community policing programs that are Aboriginal-specific be established in Aboriginal communities in urban
areas;
Native Friendship Centres and Law Enforcement agencies work jointly in the assistance of its Aboriginal
constituency;
Formation of an urban Aboriginal affairs committee to resolve community policing issues;
Police formalise a link with off-reserve Aboriginal communities;
Establish guidelines to inform Aboriginal communities of their rights, and appropriate police conduct;
Define a complaints mechanism for Aboriginal-Police process;
Develop a comprehensive policy framework on Aboriginal policing programs;
Increase and enhance cross cultural recruitment and training; and,
Increase the number of Aboriginal peoples employed in police enforcement agencies.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 34
Authority
Date
Subject
Law Reform Commission Report on Aboriginal Peoples and Criminal Justice:
of Canada
Equality, Respect and the Search for Justice
1991
Objective
• To study the Criminal Code and related statutes and to examine the extent to which these laws ensure that
Aboriginal persons and persons who are members of cultural or religious minorities have equal access to
justice and are treated equitably and with respect.
Findings
&
Recommendations
General:
• Present system fails Aboriginal peoples; and,
• Two parallel paths ,
a) reform the current system,
b) establish an Aboriginal justice system.
•
Specific:
Policing:
• The police should be more involved in and accountable to the communities they
serve'';
• Community based exte rn al policing or autonomous Aboriginal police forces should be facilitated wherever
they are desired;
• Establish programs with the intent to bring more Aboriginal persons into all aspects of the criminal justice
system, including as police, lawyers, judges, probation officers and correctional officiais;
• Recognition of the right of Aboriginal peoples to use their own languages in all court proceedings, plus
supporting legislation to ensure that interpreters be provided to any suspect needing assistance, in relation to
dealing with police officers;
• Equal recognition of Aboriginal spirituality within policing institutions be secured by legislation;
• Establish a formal process that recognizes Aboriginal peace officers to mediate disputes involving Aboriginal
peoples in conflict with the law;
• Provide overgight capacity to an Aboriginal Police/Justice Forum, with a broad mandate to deal with any
matters relating to Aboriginal persons in the justice system; and,
• Endorse Aboriginal communities to oversee their Native constituency.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peociles
Solicitor General. Canada
Page • 35
Summary
Common themes and consistent recommendations are found in the above studies. The
following four issues identified in all reports are presented in a "nutshell":
•
Aboriginal peoples should be closely involved in the planning and delivery of police
services to Aboriginal peoples;
•
All non-Aboriginal staff in the justice system engaged in providing services to
Aboriginal peoples should be required to participate in some form of cross-cultural
training designed to familiarize them with the special needs and values of Aboriginal
peoples;
•
More Aboriginal peoples must be recruited and trained for service functions throughout
the justice system; and,
•
In providing police services, emphasis should be placed upon prevention, diversion and
alternatives to imprisonment.
February
18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Set-vit
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page
• 37
VI Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
The Issues
It is now legitimate to ask what implications the information contained in this report has for
the delivery of police services to a steadily increasing urban Aboriginal community. In
addressing this question, a number of suggestions to a response have already been inferred. It
is advisable now to consider the following underlying factors that will have specific impacts
on the level, nature and demands for police services to Aboriginal peoples.
Underlying Factors Affecting Off-Reserve Policing
Health conditions
Inadequate housing
Lack of
employment and
income support
Inadequate access to
education and health
resources
Disorganized and
inadequate social
•
•
•
•
•
• Absence of
•
•
•
•
opportunities for
economic
advancement
Unemployment
Deficits
Fiscal restraint
Regional economic
disparity
• Population Growth
and Trend
•
•
Geographic Location
Multi-ethnic
population
• Youth and Aging
•
Urban migration
• Self-government
• Local control
• Sensitivity to the
aspirations and
values of aboriginal
peoples
• Land Claims
•
•
•
Recidivism
Substance/Alcohol
Abuse
•
•
•
•
Family Violence
Spousal Assault
Incarceration
Re-integration
Enhancement of
relationship with
Provincial and
services
Federal govenunents
These underlying factors will have important implications for the provision of police services
to urban Aboriginal peoples throughout Canada. Some of the expected implications are:
•
Increased need for attention by police agencies to secure and manage staff with
Aboriginal background (including training, employment, etc...);
•
The lack of opportunities available to urban Aboriginal people leading to societal
alienation and conflict with the law;
February
18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 38
n
Migration trends of Aboriginal peoples to urban areas;
n
The formalization of Aboriginal self-government processes could impact on existing
policing arrangements; and,
n
Increases in the proportion of criminal justice clients (offenders, victims, and the
general public).
Each generation of police recruits is open to both unprecedented opportunities and constraints
as they relate to Aboriginal peoples. The urban centres and the police respond to and reflect
societal dimensions - socio-economic, institutional, cultural, demographic - but are not mere
passive products. The police is a medium for an urban process that is itself a creative force
within the urban arena, and which reverberates on its region, the system of cities as a whole,
and society in general.
It is true that police organizations must respond to changing times - that is, they must adapt
effectively to a rapidly changing environment. The salient characteristics for such change
include: the encouragement of innovation; visible acknowledgment of good performance;
articulated purpose and mission; adaptable people as members; effective management of
change; collaborative climate; minimal constraints; strong client orientation; and built-in
feedback mechanisms. Adaptability is considered to be learnable and necessary - by both
organizations and individuals. Workable, winnable strategies for providing policing services to
Aboriginal urban communities include diagnosing and exposing éxisting police culture;
training in managing change; team building to examine barriers to innovation and
adaptiveness; clarifying mission and developing vision; and improving performance and
communication, both internally and externally.
In responding to the need for enhanced police-urban Aboriginal relations, a number of
realities should be pointed out, including the persistence of hierarchy and dominance in the
Canadian policing system, and the struggle for more liveable environments by Aboriginal
peoples. There are several social, economic and cultural attributes which cause Aboriginal
peoples living in urban centres to come into direct conflict with police agencies.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 39
They are as follows:
A consequence of migration to urban centres is the increased risk of contact with the law.
The following table offers incidents of contact by police officers and urban Aboriginal
peoples.
Regular Member
(Police) (217)
Special Constable
(Aboriginal) (60)
Alcohol related
41.9
21.7
Traffic (non-alcohol related)
12.4
1.7
Community Relations (Preventive)
3.7
15.0
Violence
3.2
3.3
Domestic Incidents
2.8
1.7
Property Offenses
2.3
1.7
Routine Service Calls
20.3
43.3
Provincial Statutes (General)
1.4
0
Criminal Code (General)
8.8
3.3
Other
3.2
8.3
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 40
A comprehensive approach to the provision of policing services to Aboriginal peoples would
rely not only on the growing knowledge of the nature of crime and disorder in urban areas
but on an understanding of the three components of urbanization: demographic - the increase
in the urban proportion of the country's population; structural - the redistribution of
population and economic functions among cities in a changing urban system; and behavioural
- the effects that urbanization has on the behaviour of Aboriginal peoples.
The confluence of Aboriginal peoples in urban areas is resulting in changes in societal
attitudes, principles and structures, and is posing questions of particular priority to police
services; these include the following:
What are the limits of a police agency's ability to ensure that appropriate cultural,
racial and linguistic groups are represented in its personnel complement and training?
Indeed, there are growing concerns about the ability of police agencies to satisfy
increasing demands for representative and responsive Aboriginal services in light of
the overwhelming range of differences that are represented by urban Aboriginals;
•
To what extent will Aboriginal peoples, particularly urban Aboriginals with differing
belief structures influence or impact on police structures and policies'? To what degree
does existing police policy or police services legislation conflict with the interests or
beliefs of urban Aboriginals? and,
•
Will urban communities that are currently divided along ethnic and cultural lines come
together to form a stronger political voice'? What then will be the impacts of such an
outcome on police services and policies'?.
An issues matrix, identifying concerns related to police agencies and urban Aboriginal
communities identifies the priorities that are fundamental to the long-term enhancement of
policing services to Aboriginal peoples. It is presented as an action plan for both the police
agency and the urban Aboriginal community.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 41
.. .
ë'aiCre Agenç^es>
.;. ..:: ::.:..
Potiçirig:Sèrviè^s tar`A1iQ^gi^tai Peo^ te
..
> ; ::::>;:
Organizational Culture
n Culture track
.:. .:::....
.. .::... ...:
. .: . . ..... :. ..: .
. :. . :::.
^?r:batc.Atüiri fital::A)minu:;'..:
Y_:
Socio-Economic
n
n
Management skills track
Strategy - structure track
Team - building track
Organization culture based on
Quality
Productivity
Creativity
Support
n
n
n
n
n
The Need to Adapt
n Innovation
n Collaborative climate
n Client orientation
n Team building, especially external units
n Clear vision
Community-based Policing
n Solution - driven
n Community-based policing
n "Buy in" by Aboriginal communities
n State-of-the-Art knowledge base and profile of
Aboriginal urban community
n Emphasis on mediation, restructuring or dissolution
in addressing urban Aboriginals
February 18, 1993
... ............
Communication
n Information related to contact with police officers
n Rights and obligations
, n Cultivate role models
n Develop forum for enhanced police-Aboriginal
relations
The Need to Change
n Potency of demands for change
n Nature of demands on system
n Source of demands for change
n Why change?
n
n
n
n
»>> : :
:
Impact of migration to urban centres
The need for technical training, specialized
expertise
Urban centre is no panacea
Inherent problems
Provide training, education and an avenue for
Aboriginal culture while in the urban environment
Specific opportunities available to urban
Aboriginals
Levels of opportunity
Cultural
n Aboriginal vs. police culture
n The police as an ally
n Impartiality of the Law
n Emphasis on traditional approaches to law
enforcement
n Aboriginal control over certain infractions"
n Institution or Systemic racism
n Community-driven alternatives
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 42
The Potential Solutions
In facing the above issues, Canadian police agencies possess enormous strengths. Its officers
are well paid, education levels are high, training is extensive, buildings are modern, and
communications are state-of-the-art. The analytical capacity of police departments is growing,
as is the development of information-bases and information-management systems. Officers,
by and large, are Icnowledgeable, not just about operational matters but about the policies and
strategies of policing. Police forces are becoming self-conscious in the best sense and
policing has a tradition of creating responsible, non-political bodies to supervise the police
both with respect to individual behaviour and organizational policy.
The challenge now is to grasp the opportunity to make intelligent innovations in order to
respond to the needs of an emerging urban Canada, an urban Canada where convulsive
changes are underway, and where policing solutions must be formulated in response to these
changes.
In order to respond to the need for enhanced policing services for Aboriginal peoples, the
following suggestions are offered.
Aboriginal peoples have often put forward the concept of a living partnership in growth. It
is, in fact, a method of developing a living partnership of policing services which would
adopt a matrix organizational structural, where teams consisting of members of police, fire,
public and social services agencies, provincial and federal departments would work together
on a formal basis to deliver the necessary and appropriate policing services to urban
Aboriginals.
Such an team approach would provide long-terrn benefits for the partnership between police
in urban centres and the Aboriginal peoples. More problem solvers would be available, with
different backgrounds, viewpoints, and opportunities for contact with the Aboriginal peoples
thereby improving the chances of early identification and complete analysis of problems.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 43
Because they would report to different bureaucracies, members of these living partnership
teams would act as a check on one another, reducing many of the potential problems involved
in the initial phases of problem solving. Finally, the teams would provide a unified contact
point for frustrated Aboriginal peoples, who would otherwise be unable to negotiate their way
through the city or urban bureaucracy. With problem solving partnership teams linked to
community and/or Aboriginal organizations, the opportunities for cooperative efforts increase
dramatically.
Benefits of innovations such as the living partnership approach provide tested, practical
approaches for police agencies fruseated with putting band-aids on symptoms. By responding
to recuning problems and by working with other agencies, businesses, and the public
whenever possible, police agencies have begun to develop an effective strategy for reducing
crime and other troubling conditions in our cities.
Community policing, sometimes known as community based policing or community-oriented
policing is regarded as the best and most appropriate response by policing to the challenges
and problems encountered in dealing with urban Aboriginal peoples.
Aboriginal urban communities have placed questions on policing within a broader context of
social, cultural, economic, demographic, political, and indeed spiritual change. As a result,
the place of the Aboriginal person in contemporary approaches to policing and the very status
of police agencies assigned the task of providing services to Aboriginal peoples must now be
carefully considered from first principles.
In this regard, implementing community based policing involves more than simply changing
how law enforcement officials respond to a particular community's needs. Less obviously, it
also means changing the very culture of police organization in support of this type of
policing.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 44
The following elements are conducive to successful community based policing:
n The role or mission of the police in society becomes fundamentally one of peace officer
rather than as law enforcement officer involved in crime control; .
n In a community based partnership, the police must adopt as the cornerstone an ability
and openness to consult with the local community;
n The police must be proactive, i.e. anticipate trouble areas and prepare contingency
measures;
n Police must develop a strategy to understand and address the root causes of crime;
n The police must develop new partnership with members of* their communities, and work
jointly with social agencies in a cooperative response in dealing with urban issues;
n Because Aboriginal peoples believe they are constant victims or targets of police
officers, it is important that pôlice reduce this fear of being victimized;
n In a successful community based approach, police must be granted the responsibility and
autonomy to respond in a very specialized way to unique urban or neighbourhood
situations;
n Police structure and organizational frameworks must change to accommodate community
based ideals; and finally, .
n In order to be successful, it is important that the police be accountable to the community
in which they serve.
Community based policing can logically be extended to a host of officers with enforcement
powers, including,the police, municipal, regional and conservation officers.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page
• 45
• POIIC&::Abori.ginaj:.- eornpIab.ïts:::Mèchariisiti,:
Recommendations on Aboriginal justice, corrections and police issues are reiterated in the
nearly fifty-two government sponsored studies on the subject. Many questions continue to
exist regarding what is best for police-Aboriginal services. However, in light of the treatment
of Aboriginal peoples in conflict with the law, a complaint mechanism, if instituted with
objectivity could help alleviate both the undue and burdensome hardship suffered by the
Aboriginal community as well as the tremendous loss of resources and respect for police
officials.
A comprehensive complaints mechanism process established by key stakeholders would serve
the following:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Examination of submissions at the Police-Aboriginal complaints process level;
Determine the process of settlement;
Review where the complaints process is broken off;
Assess strengths and weaknesses of the process and possible ways of improvement;
Assess patterns which have caused delays and avoidable aggravations in the process;
Determine the extent to which process has been implemented gs promised;
Assess the impacts and effects which the process achieved, including the extent to which
the "settlement" ameliorated the felt grievances; and,
• Include a commitment to involve the Aboriginal community in the review process.
koptoprtatè
Recommendations in nearly every one of the fifty-two government-sponsored justice studies
on Aboriginal issues have supported sensitivity training, representative recruitment and
culturally-appropriate education on Canada's Aboriginal population.
The need to rec ru it, promote and train qualified Aboriginal persons to positions in the
policing community is imperative. Sensitivity training, representative recruitment and
February
18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 46
culturally appropriate education from both the Aboriginal community as well as the police
agency is beneficial for policing services to Aboriginal peoples living in urban centres.
Police training programs must include relevancy, currency, flexibility and specificity in
addressing the needs of a very distinct urban community.
Concerns have been expressed about police lack of understanding and sensitivity to
Aboriginal culture and values, and, in some cases, about overt discrimination as Aboriginal
peoples continue to believe they are more likely than non-Aboriginal people to be arrested
and charged.
Finally, many police departments do not have Aboriginal members proportionate to the
Aboriginal population in their jurisdiction. As well, many• lack the recruitment and training
programs necessary to address this situation.
In many urban Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal citizens are without formal mechanisms
which allow them to voice their policing concerns to the police.
In large urban centres, police agencies are focusing on cross-cultural training to assist nonAboriginal officers to understand and appreciate differences between Aboriginal and nonAboriginal cultures. As well, a number of police agencies are developing mechanisms to
allow the Aboriginal community to advise police on issues of concern and to assist in
resolving Aboriginal/police problems. In this regard, Police/Aboriginal consultative groups
are helping to strengthen the police/community relationship.
In an effort to enhance community participation, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
(CACP) established a Policing with Aboriginal Peoples Committee composed of chiefs of
police and members of the Aboriginal community. The purpose of this committee is to
provide a forum to discuss issues of mutual concern and to share information on Aboriginal
policing initiatives. In addition; the Ministry of the Solicitor General has initiated the
Aboriginal Policing Series, a program designed to address research and policy issues of
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 47
conce rn to police, gove rn ments, and Aboriginal communities. The series is intended to be of
practical value to police officers working in Aboriginal communities.
.
Acknoyelthe..Ekiàtenëé. of'
Police agencies ensure that recruits do not display an overt bias which would make them
unsuitable to be an officer. What is apparent however, is that changes occur after joining the
police agency. There continue to be significant evidence that police officers who are
constantly in contact with the public develop strong feelings and beliefs as to attributes of
individuals, based on factors such as appearance and ethnic background.
The correction of this situation is not an easy process. It would be easy to simply consider it
unacceptable and attempt to develop regulatory processes aimed at eliminating it. But what is
evident here is not so much a symptom of personal belief as evidence of a developed culture
and value system within the organization.
The working experience of many police officers exposes them to an extremely selective cross
section of the urban population. Consequently, in the absence of balancing factors, attitudinal
bias towards urban Aboriginals may creep in.
It is important that this be recognized and acknowledged. This will, in turn permit very
specifically targeted remedial action, rather than broad initiatives targeted at a whole range of •
issues. While training may be a composite of such action, support systems and groups,
mandatory interaction with more representative cross section of the urban Aboriginal
community and other targeted initiatives should be considered.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 49
Effective policing services require focused attention on sub-groups of the population as
defined by such characteristics as education, language, labour force, status, gender, income,
ethnicity, and migration patterns. This detailed knowledge is required in order to plan for
police services that can be improved to serve a specific constituency. Consequently, the
detailed information provided in this report will form an essential component in the delivery
of policing services to Aboriginal peoples.
This report bridges the needs of very diverse interests including all major urban centres, law
enforcement agencies, urban Aboriginal communities, as well as, and to a lesser degree the
federal and provincial government departments with responsibility for Aboriginal policing
services. It identifies sociological, economic, demographic and political changes affecting
Aboriginal peoples in urban areas which require attendant changes from policing services.
This broad-based approach must now respond to adaptation of human, financial and creative
resources to specific emerging urban problems. It is hoped that the.potential solutions offered
in this report will serve as a catalyst in fostering and enhancing Police-Aboriginal services.
Finally, while illuminating and diagnosing the limits of our knowledge on Police-Aboriginal
urban issues, this report offers potential remedies. Thus, while the state of information on
Aboriginal urban movement remains largely underdeveloped, preliminary though it may be,
this report is a useful step forward.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 50
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Attorney and Solicitor General Canada. The Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall, Jr.
Prosecution, Province of Nova Scotia, September 1989.
Canadian Bar Association, Aboriginal Rights in Canada: An Agenda for Change, August
1988.
Canadian Law Information Council, Legal Services for Native People in Canada, Occasional
Paper Number 6, November 1982.
Canadian Police College, Policing Native Communities, June 1987.
Canadian Police College, Community Policing and Aboriginal Communities, September 1988.
Cawsey, Robert Allan, Task Force on the Criminal Justice System and its impacts on the
Indian and Metis People of Alberta, March 1991.
Commission des droits de la personne du Quebec, Investigation into relations between police
forces, visible and other ethnic minorities, November 1986.
Dumas, Jean, Current Demographic Analysis: Report on the Demographic Situation in
Canada, 1988, Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology, 1990.
Head, Robert H.D. Policing for Aboriginal Canadians: The R.C.M.P. Role, Royal Canadian
Mounted Police, November 1989.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Indian Policing Policy Review: Task Force Report,
January 1990.
Indian Justice Review Committee, Report on the Saskatchewan Indian Justice Review
Committee, Province of Saskatchewan, October 1992.
Manitoba Justice Inquiry, Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page n 51
People, November 1991.
Mehta, Vijay S., Public Policy Issues Affecting First Nations Governance, Canada Research
Institute, November 1991.
Metis Justice Review Committee, Report on the Saskatchewan Metis Justice Review
Committee, Province of Saskatchewan, August 1992.
Newby, Liza, Native People of Canada and the Federal Corrections System: Development of
a National Policy - A Preliminary Issues Report. Correctional Service of Canada, December
1981. .
Ontario Native Women's Association, Breaking Free: A Proposal for Change to Aboriginal
Family Violence, December 1989.
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, National Round Table on Justice Issues, October
1992.
Solicitor General Canada, National Workshop: First Nations Policing June 27-29, 1992, July
1992.
Solicitor General Canada, First Nations Policing Policy, April 1992.
February 18, 1993
Final Report
Policing Services for Aboriginal Peoples
Solicitor General, Canada
Page • 52
List of Contacts
Name
Organization
Ms. Lynda Clairmont
Solicitor General, Canada
Mr. Ron Ferri
Solicitor General, Canada
Ms. Lee Seto-Thomas
Native Council of Canada
Ms. Carole Blackburn
Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples
Mr. Charles Nixon
Federal-Provincial Relations Office
Mr. Rolland Pangowish
Assembly of First Natiohs
Mr. Vincent Chiang
Ministry of Solicitor General, Ontario
Mr. Phillip Stenning
University of Toronto
Ms. Gabrielle Dumont
Metis Council of Canada
Ms. Sylvia Maracle
Ontario Native Council on Justice
Mr. Don Clairmont
Dalhousie University
February 18, 1993
Final Report i•
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