SOC 3750 Lecture Notes - Ontario Provincial Police, Indian Register, Government Issue

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Chapter 12- Introduction to Policing In Canada
Policing aboriginal peoples
Introduction:
- Most important issues for Canadian policing in the 21st century will be
aboriginal self – determination in the delivery of police service
- This is a multidimensional topic concerning the organization and delivery
of police services by federal, provincial and municipal police agencies and
incorporating issues relating to self government and self determination.
Demographics:
According to 1986 census, 711,120 individuals reported some aboriginal ancestry
representing 3.6% of canadas total population which consists for 4 groups:
1. Status Indians – aboriginal ppl who are registered under the indian act of
1876 and who comprise 59.9% of the aboriginal population.
2. Non status Indians- aboriginal people who identify themselves as aboriginal
but who are not registered under the act; they comprise 15.3% of the native
population
3. Metis – people of mixed angelo-european and aboriginal descent who make
up 20% of the aboriginal population
4. Inuit (eskimo) – represent a distinct cultural group residing in the northwest
terriroties, Labrador and northern quebec and comprise 5.2% of the
aboriginal population.
Aboriginal communities demonstrate considerable diversity in culture, religion,
customs and language as well as socio-economic and political development
While approximately two thirds of status Indians reside in rural isolated areas on
2,200 reserves organized into 604 bands, most metis and non status Indians reside
in semi urban and rural areas.
When policing aboriginals homogeneity cannot be presumed as first nations people
live in both remote, sparsely populated reserves and major population centres such
as Toronto, montreal and vancover
When describing policing arrangements for aboriginals, two situations are
apparent :
1. policing off reserves
o10 urban centres have native populations of over 5,000
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oMostly non status Indians and metis live here
oIn Saskatchewan 50% of all aboriginal people live in cities and
towns with over 35,000 residing in regina alone
oIssues of policing are linked to the wider issue of multiculturalism,
recognized by some to be the greatest challenge currently facing
police organizations and to the problem of policing non white
populations
oInitiatives like
recruitment of ethnic minority police officers,
cross cultural race relations training for officers
development of community policing policies (consultative
groups) aimed at minority communities
THESE ALL show ways police have attempted to be
responsive to needs of minority groups and aboriginals.
2. policing on reserves
otakes many different forms
o1990 there were approx. 700 aboriginal officers employed in
policing or para-policing reserves, representing a ratio of 1:370
persons
oIssue of policing reserves has promoted considerable discussion
during the recent past
oUse of non native RCMP officers to administer the law on reserves
and the creation of native police forces to patrol reserves have
been two big issues
Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system
Three concerns have been recognized in the administration of policing for
aboriginals
1. Over representation of aboriginal people within the criminal justice system
oFederal, provincial and independent commissions and reports have
examined the relationship between the police and aboriginal people
and illustrated it as strained, leading to conflict and high rates of
arrest.
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oResearch shown that aboriginal people have unfavourable attitudes
toward police- whom they blame for their over-representation in the
system.
oAboriginal accused offenders comprise the single largest minority
group being processed through the system
oDespite representing only 3.6% of the national population, they
comprise 12% of inmates in federal correctional institutions
oResearch from alberta found: 78% of Indian men and 35% of Indian
women in the province had a record of arrest.
2. Equity of treatment – the extent to which natives are treated fairly and
justly
oThe over-representation in the CJS led to accusations that they
have been over-policed and mis-policed
oCriticism has been directed at the RCMP, provincial and municipal
forces.
oThis over-represenation may be more a function of low socio-
economic status than race
oResearch shows socially and economically marginal groups in
society use the services provided by the police more than others
3. Equality of service – access to policing services that meet acceptable
norms and standards
oThis low socio-economic status, as well as the many social problems
they face (poor living conditions, unemployment, alcoholism, abuse,
suicide) has been attributed to the legacy of colonialism
oJobson 1993 – first nations people have over the last 2 hundred
years been deprived of their lands, subjected to the breakup of
their family structures, had their culture suppressed and their
spiritual traditions outlawed. It has only been in the last thirty years
that the effects of colonialization have begun to be dealt with.
oSLOWLY being addressed in policing
Western policing philosophers vs. traditional aboriginal policing philosophies
- contasts exist between the philosophies of crime and crime control in
western and aboriginal communities with ethnological accounts
illustrating important differences in the way the police and policing have
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Document Summary

Most important issues for canadian policing in the 21st century will be aboriginal self determination in the delivery of police service. This is a multidimensional topic concerning the organization and delivery of police services by federal, provincial and municipal police agencies and incorporating issues relating to self government and self determination. According to 1986 census, 711,120 individuals reported some aboriginal ancestry representing 3. 6% of canadas total population which consists for 4 groups: status indians aboriginal ppl who are registered under the indian act of. Inuit (eskimo) represent a distinct cultural group residing in the northwest terriroties, labrador and northern quebec and comprise 5. 2% of the aboriginal population. Aboriginal communities demonstrate considerable diversity in culture, religion, customs and language as well as socio-economic and political development. While approximately two thirds of status indians reside in rural isolated areas on. 2,200 reserves organized into 604 bands, most metis and non status indians reside in semi urban and rural areas.

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