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Lecture 7

CRIM 3657 Lecture 7: March 10

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CRIM 3657
Robert Teixeira

Aboriginals in Canada: -complex, multi-layered issue -effects of racism and colonialism on the criminal justice process and the outcomes that affect Aboriginal youth and youth of colour -attention is given to these groups not merely because they are overrepresented in arrests, but because analyzing the social factors gives us a critical angle of how systems of racism are embedded within the cjs -Aboriginal youth in Canada suffer the greatest challenges -Aboriginal people are still afraid to identify as Aboriginal given the long history of state intervention -84% of Aboriginal populations now live in urban settings -13.7% are incarcerated (overall number including adults and youth) -2 sources: 1) Cindy 2) Nicole -terminology -Aboriginal: umbrella term that includes First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people-First Nations: describe Aboriginal people in Canada who are not Metis or Inuit but is not recognized as such under the Indian Act -Indian and Native: negative connotation -Indian is referenced in a legal context under the Indian Act -Metis: collective of cultural identities -Inuit: people from the North -Indigenous: global and encompassing term referring to international First Nations people -Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: a major landmark in royal commission in Canada -Commission is modelled after the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and lasted for 7 years Missing Stories and Voices: -too many non-Aboriginal Canadians know little or nothing about the deep history of the conflicts and oppressive practices toward Aboriginal people perpetrated by the federal government and its agents and agencies The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2008-2015: -terminate their treaties, construct the processes of assimilation, and to create a situation in which they cease to exist as a group that is distinct culturally, socially, and politically -systemic and intentional process to eliminate what has been known as “to kill the Indian in the kid” -the Commission was one aspect of a much broader project of cultural genocide of Aboriginal peoples, to force them to cease to exist as a separate group within Canada -cultural genocide or the removal of all points of reference and sustenance for a group to see itself as a distinct cultural group -system of colonialism and racialization -Orlando Patterson: social death (with reference to African-Americans under slavery -the racial imaginary of non-Aboriginal people who took European values, economic systems, and the superiority of Whiteness for granted -this racialized/colonized mindset of the dominant culture informs how Aboriginal people are viewed, how decisions are made, and which policies are pursued Links between Colonialism and Racialization of Persons Of Colour: -processes of colonialism and racialization served to disenfranchise Aboriginal people in a variety of ways: -colonialism: economic, social, and political domination of a region or group of people by a foreign power -racialization: the process of racing a group of people, or the social construction of race through discourses and practices -material practices (laws) and discourses (ideas) -racialization is an important term in the context of what we’re talking about, as it is a process of racing and making racial distinctions, which has a severe and profound impact -integrative systemic form of subordination and domination that Aboriginal people are subjected to by the state and its agents -why is this tool of looking at racing as a process of racialization important? -it is important because we cease to see racism as a fixed problem of the past that gradually erodes -the material and discursive practices of how people are raced shifts -it is important because it denotes a way of marking this shit (racism takes form in different ways and operates differently) -we must see racialization as a process and not as something from the past Post-Colonial Family Lives: -they set the stage for individuals’ pathways in life -colonialism disrupted Aboriginal kin relations and families -more rigid economic system: inequalities introduced -trading relations benefited men more than women: intent expressed purpose to disrupt the power that women possessed in many communities -missionaries connected to Christian denominations introduced stricter age and gender relations and harsher punishment for children -part of the colonial aspect of Canada’s regulation of Aboriginal peoples was deeply gendered, as it sought to established patriarchal relations -there is a breakdown in social cohesion in Aboriginal communities -their leadership structures are destroyed and undermined by laws -prevent them from self-organizing and developing its culture -profound impact on communities and families -the disorganization of these laws on kinship structures and communities -these practices led to and sustained the idea of the formal enshrinement of the residential school system What is Reconciliation? (TRC, p. 16): -reconciliation as an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining respectful relationships (complements Aboriginal ways of life and teaching) -it involves sharing stories, listening, and allowing others’ stories to change you, to change your own story -this was an active intentional disruption of Aboriginal way of life -aim and intent of the school was to assimilate Aboriginal peoples into the dominant Eurocentric culture -a profound i
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