From the very first encounter with police, contact with the criminal justice system for Indigenous people is loaded with disproportionate penalties. A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision of R v Ewert finally recognized the critical role played by Correctional Service Canada that may be unjustly keeping Indigenous peoples behind bars for longer, under far worse conditions than their non-Indigenous incarcerated counterparts.
The Indian Department
While the emerging rights framework is certainly limited and based on the flawed presumption of Canadian sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples, this new channel of dialogue with the Crown for the Métis National Council, its five governing members, and the Métis Settlement General Council is itself a fairly profound development.
Rather than address fundamental issues of land distribution, the federal government is prioritizing “fiscal capacity building” in an effort to prepare bands – not for self-determination – but for compliance with the self-government policy that does not expand the authority of First Nations over their traditional territories.