Toward Sovereign Indigenous Justice: On Removing the Colonial Straightjacket
Canada has oppressed Indigenous peoples capacity for true sovereignty through colonialism, genocide and attempted assimilation. This devastation manifests in the disproportionate social ills facing Indigenous peoples and their overrepresentation at all levels of the imposed criminal justice system (CJS). Trauma and internalized colonialism have constrained the capacity of Indigenous Nations to reclaim their place in the world as self-governing peoples. Canada has attempted to ‘fix’ this problem through creating parallel systems, trying to fit ‘Indigenous’ conceptions of justice into existing systems, and problematically adopting restorative justice as synonymous with Indigenous justice. The rhetoric of reconciliation and apology mask the continual genocidal, assimilative goals of the state. With these caveats in mind, the need to reject internalized colonialism and develop capacity for the development of sovereign Indigenous justice systems will be examined.
Copyright (c) 2020 Michaela Mary McGuire and Ted Palys
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