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INDG 298 Lecture Notes - Healing Lodge

Indigenous Studies
Course Code
INDG 298
Allison Piché

of 3
What is symbolic healing?
focuses on the social aspects of illness
close relationship between body and mind as well as health and illness
bonding between healer than individual receiving the healing
can be through a shared cultural background or association shared with symbols
What were Waldram's findings?
not necessary the offenders main reason
to learn more about aboriginal culture and history
to sort out identity
need for solidarity with other inmates
confidentiality is important to offenders
challenges: in terms of access to programs
inmates don't like that elders are paid
elders often have had traumatic experiences themselves – inmates may have issues of using
the service of an Elder who has had drug problems
finding someone who wants to work in corrections is often difficult
difficult to retain them
Mann Report
Good Intentions, Disappointing Results: A Process Report on Federal Aboriginal Corrections
executive Summary and introductions
the situation for aboriginal offenders in correctional services is problematic
we are in a crisis
CSC isn't well equipped to deal with all the issues that Aboriginal offenders have
CSC has a unique opportunity to provide tailored programs to address the needs and
profiles of aboriginal offenders .... (page 2 and 4)
over-representation of Aboriginals – predicted the numbers will grow in the offender
CSC should develop a holistic approach for dealing with aboriginal offenders
we need to take all of the offender into consideration instead of breaking the
offender down into their parts
we need to examine the bigger picture of the individual and treat the whole person
instead of the individual concerns
body, mind, and spirit being treated, instead of just the body
CSC Commitments and obligations
CCR – correction and conditional release act
came into effect 1982 and replaced the penitentiary and patrol acts
1. institutional and community corrections – matters abstain to the custodial portion
2. conditional release, detention and long term supervision
3. the office of the correctional investigator
most important sections
includes 81, healing lodge
84, release into aboriginal community
progress update
1. fiscal – though the budget has increased each year it is only 2% of the annual
correctional budget
2. access to programs – risk of re-offence can be reduced through involvement in
culturally appropriate services. Implementation of programs is localized. Impact has
been rather limited due to there not being equal access to the programs. Lack of space
and staffing shortages makes there be lower amounts of programs. Gangs have
significantly impacted the ability to provide programs (cannot bring larger groups of
inmates together for programs as people from different gangs cannot be mixed).
3. security and classifications – an imbedded inappropriateness in the classification tools
that are used, which results in the over-classification of aboriginals. “systematic barriers
can hinder timely and effective offender re-integration” (Mann, 14). Over-classification
is a problem! CSS response is that there is no problem with the current framework for
classification. She attributes the over-classification of aboriginal offenders to the
historical and social circumstance of aboriginal offenders, these are meant to be taking
into consideration with respect to the Gladue association.
directed more at sentences, but has a direct impact on the sentencing
seminal court case, helped to clarify 718.2 (e) of the criminal code “all
available sanctions other than incarceration ...
are to take in a criminals historical and cultural circumstances
principles are to be applied in other aspects of the justice system to help
with the over-representation of aboriginal offenders
4. Parole – section 84 is applied variably from year to year. Under a inconsistency of use
even though these previsions have been in place for 17+ years. Might need more staff to
increase the use of that provision for aboriginal offenders
5. Data collections and evaluation – reports are not filled as frequently as they should be,
many of the reports are unavailable to the public which results in a lack of
accountability to aboriginal communities and the Canadian public.
6. human resources
7. northern corrections framework – the need for specific programing and a strategy for
addressing the unique needs of Inuit offenders.
8. section 81 healing lodges -- governance transfer to healing lodges. Healing lodges:
offer services and programs that reflect aboriginal cultural in a space that incorporates
aboriginal peoples, traditions, and beliefs. And in the healing lodge, the needs of
aboriginal offenders are addressed in aboriginal teachings, ceremonies, contact with
elders, children and interaction with nature. Operate under a holistic approach which
incorporates communities and focuses on preparing inmates for release into the
communities. Emphasis on spiritual healing and the value of life experience of the staff
members, many of which are aboriginal and can act as role models for the offenders.
There are two types. Section 81 are aboriginal managed healing lodge – privately run
operations that operate within specific guidelines that are outlined in the contract with
the CSC. CSC managed healing lodges federally sentenced offenders.
though CSC has highlighted these specific ares of concern and has begun to implement
programs that address these areas it has failed to delivery on many of the commitments
so they are not having the results that are intended
also raises the alarm about the rising number of aboriginals in the justice system, based
on current trends it will grow rather than decrease
failure on the part of CSC to change the flow will have long lasting consequences not
only on the justice system but also on aboriginal and non-aboriginal communities