ADDRESSING ABORIGINAL CRIME AND VICTIMIZATION IN CANADA: REVITALIZING COMMUNITIES, CULTURES AND TRADITIONS
Curt Taylor Griffiths and Charlene Belleau
The discussion in this chapter focuses on the resurgence of traditional cultural practices in addressing issues of crime and justice in Canadian aboriginal communities. These developments are occurring against a larger political backdrop of the constitutional recognition of an inherent right to aboriginal self- government, the assertion of control by aboriginal bands and communities over all aspects of community life and the revitalization of aboriginal communities and cultures. 1 Increasingly, the focus of federal and provincial government policy initiatives and aboriginal bands has been on identifying ways in which this inherent authority and the capacity to exercise it can be restored. This includes the administration of justice. Reversing the historical, world-wide trend which has resulted in the destruction of indigenous cultures and communities, Canada's aboriginal peoples have become more aggressive in pursuing land claims and in exerting pressure on federal, provincial and territorial governments to transfer power and control for administering aboriginal lands and affairs to bands and communities. Concurrently, there has been a revitalization of aboriginal cultures and communities and an increasing interest in incorporating traditional cultural practices into aboriginal-controlled justice structures and programmes which would serve as an alternative to the Anglo-Canadian criminal justice system ( Griffiths and Verdun-Jones 1993; Silverman and Nielsen 1992).
These justice initiatives are designed to provide alternatives to the Euro- Canadian justice system, which is viewed by many aboriginal people as incapable of addressing the needs of aboriginal victims, communities, and offenders and which, in the past, has functioned only to increase the dependency of aboriginal peoples on governments. More specifically, it has been argued that the conflicts between basic tenets of Euro-Canadian culture and aboriginal culture and the different models of law and justice adhered to by Euro-Canadian society and
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Popular Justice and Community Regeneration:Pathways of Indigenous Reform. Contributors: Kayleen M. Hazlehurst - Editor. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1995. Page number: 165.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.