Aboriginal people’s encounters with the police
Recent months of 2013 have seen the public release of official reports on the ongoing exclusion and marginalisation of Indigenous peoples vis-à-vis the Canadian criminal justice system. The Iacobucci review (2013), commissioned by the Ontario Government, documents systemic racism throughout the courts, prisons and jury systems that disadvantages Indigenous peoples. The review emerged from the lack of Indigenous jurors in coroner’s inquests into the death of Jacy Pierre in police custody, and the drowning of Reggie Bushie in 2007. Another report from the Correctional Investigator documents the over-representation of Indigenous people in the federal prison system, which has increased by 43 per cent in five years (Saper 2012). These observations are set against the political backdrop of the conservative government’s ‘tough on crime’ agenda and ongoing policies of Aboriginal title and rights extinguishment (Diabo 2012).