ABORIGINAL PEOPLES AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN CANADA PROFESSOR JENNIFER DALTON Introduction to Indigenous Studies: Monday, July 4, 2011
Class Outline • Presentations and class discussion • Using Turnitin to view grades and comments (demonstration) • Additional article on Aboriginal voter turnout (Howe and Bedford) • Aboriginal justice in Canada: Video Clip and group learning activity: • TVO, The Agenda, “John Beaucage | Police and Diversity,” September 23, 2008, online: http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=7&bpn=779332&ts=2008-09-23%2020:01:05.0
Aboriginal Voter Turnout in Canada: Urban and Rural Voting • In response to a question on urban voting (during class on June 29), a link to an additional source was posted on both course websites (Paul Howe and David Bedford, Electoral Participation of Aboriginals in Canada (Ottawa: Elections Canada, 2009), http://www.elections.ca/med/eve/APRC/abo_participation_e.pdf. The following information is relevant in the context of Aboriginal turnout and political engagement in Canada: • The study involves self-reported turnout levels of Aboriginal peoples in urban and rural areas, not just First Nations on reserves. However, the data do not differentiate between First Nations, Métisor Inuit. • The study shows that Aboriginal voters in urban areas are considerably less likely to vote in Canadian elections than are Aboriginal voters in rural areas (i.e. including on-reserve voters). This trend holds in the 2000 federaland most recent provincial and municipal elections across the country(as of publication). • The authors argue that age has an important impact on turnout, with some relevance attached to education and income. Alienation is also important, but the authors argue that it is not exclusive or distinctive to Aboriginal voters. • Methodological adjustments are made to help counter problems associated with artificially inflated self-reported turnout data, but are arguably insufficient.
Introduction to Aboriginal Justice in Canada: Video and Learning Exercise • After viewing the video clips, discuss briefly in groups your answers to the below questions (TVO, The Agenda, “John Beaucage | Police and Diversity,” September 23, 2008, online: http://www.tvo.org/cfmx/tvoorg/theagenda/index.cfm?page_id=7&bpn=779332&ts=2008-09-23%2020:01:05.0): • The issue of self-policing in Aboriginal communities is raised as a means of reducing crime and building relationships. Do you think increased representation of Aboriginal peoples in law enforcement would be beneficial or harmful, both on-reserve and in urban areas? Why? • The second clip focuses on a range of disadvantaged groups in the context of policing in Canada. Choose one key issue that is discussed, and that overlaps with course materials and concepts, and apply it specifically to Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Evaluate the merits and weaknesses of the arguments made in the clip as they apply specifically to Aboriginal communities. • The second clip raises the importance of accountability and trust in policing. An argument is made that those at higher levels of authority in the police service are less likely to hear about significant problems that happen at the “grassroots” level. Is this a legitimate argument? Why or why not? What are the impacts for disadvantaged communities who are plagued by higher levels of violence?