Aboriginal Affairs Coalition calls for justice review leading to provincial election
Advocacy group says Saskatchewan must deal with social crisis
The Aboriginal Affairs Coalition of Saskatchewan is calling for the province's political parties to include a justice review in their party platforms ahead of the election.
The aboriginal advocacy organization, which represents aboriginal people living off reserve, said there needs to be a political will to address the "many decades of discrimination that have taken place in Saskatchewan's justice system."
In a release, they also called for a commitment of appropriate financial support for the review.
AACS said the over-incarceration of indigenous men and women in Saskatchewan is clear when people look at the statistics.
According to the Correctional Investigator of Canada in the Prairie provinces, 48 per cent of federal inmates are aboriginal people. The aboriginal population in Saskatchewan's prisons is consistently over 85 per cent.
- Aboriginal inmates less likely to get early release from prison
- Prison watchdog says more than a quarter of federal inmates are aboriginal people
AACS said there are policy issues in the federal justice system but provincial jurisdictions carry a large part of the responsibility in "designing and implementing the policies, programs and services to deal with justice issues."
"Unfortunately, Saskatchewan has failed to deal with the social crisis facing the province, and a respectful and collaborative relationship needs to be developed with indigenous organizations to produce concrete policies and tangible actions on the ground," AACS said in the release.
AACS is an affiliate of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples in Ottawa.
The provincial election is April 4.