Essay Example on Canada Aboriginal women are accounting for 33.6 of the total female offender population

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In Canada Aboriginal women are accounting for 33 6 of the total female offender population in federal prisons in 2016 which represents an increase of 83 7 over the past decade Residential schools opened in the late 1800 s which caused physical emotional and mental abuse to the First Nations in Canada that is still affecting the communities today Of the incarcerated Aboriginal women 90 had said they had experienced abuse at some point in their lives and over 90 also had a mental illness Aboriginal women are overrepresented in the Canadian justice system Aboriginal criminal behaviour is rooted from a long history of social inequality and discrimination The trauma from the loss of cultural identity contributes to criminal behaviour abuse and addictions The government justice system and people of Canada also discriminate against Aboriginal women making them more likely to commit crimes Firstly Aboriginal women are more vulnerable to the temptation of drugs and alcohol and addiction can fastly begin


As a result of the loss of culture identity and discrimination many Aboriginal women have turned to alcohol and drugs to help ease the pain related to their history of physical psychological and emotional abuse These women are 76 more likely to abuse substance than non Aboriginals Clibbon 2012 A high percentage of these women who come in conflict with the law are convicted of crimes while under the influence of drugs and alcohol During a 2012 regional study done by the Ontario Native Women s Association 80 of aboriginal women have faced abuse whether it be spousal or in their childhood homes and 48 said they had been sexually abused at some point in their life In 2008 a Saskatchewan social survey had found that at least 57 of the women who use shelters for abused families and addictions were of Aboriginal ancestry even though they only make up 11 of the female population Indian life 2014 Drug and alcohol use is passed down from generation to generation These women feel that substance and drug use is a way to cope with abuse and loss of self identity and often end up getting in trouble with the law because of their actions while on these various substances Drug and alcohol use contribute to addictions which is a main factor contributing to criminal behaviour Secondly Aboriginal Women are more likely to be questioned searched and arrested compared to non Aboriginals Judges often give harsher sentencing and prison officials make these women more likely to be placed in a maximum security prison

These prison officials also use more physical force against these women upon arrest or in the prison Due to the high security placements these women are placed in they are less likely to get into rehabilitation programs An Aboriginal women named Gladys Radek lived in Vancouver British Columbia She had wheelchair disability and lived across the street from a mall Gladys would often go across the street to get her daily cup of coffee from Starbucks Every time she went a mall cop would often harass Gladys for using her native status card for not having to pay taxes as it was annoying for store managers to cut tax off because she cannot afford normal price and disturbing the people around her Maine 2009 The people who are supposed to be protecting those who are being discriminated against and keep them safe are adding to the problem of unusual treatment and stereotyping aboriginal peoples This problem contributes to the criminal behaviour of Aboriginal women because they feel that nobody not even the people who are supposed to keep them free of harassment and discrimination are not there to help them in times of trouble Aboriginal women start to act the way people think and stereotype them as such as being a criminal or drug addict Lastly the Aboriginal population is socially and economically disadvantaged 58 of young adults living on native reserves in Canada have not completed high school and only 32 of the non graduates make it pass grade nine Omand 2017

The unemployment rate is 15 compared to 6 of non aboriginals Aboriginal people also make 33 less income on average and women who grow up in these homes are 23 more likely to experience violence physically and sexually Gouver 2017 Aboriginal women who grow up in these conditions do not have the proper and full access to education which in turn does not allow them to have equal employment opportunities as non aboriginal women When growing up in a low income household this makes the cycle start of staying under the poverty line for a lot of aboriginal women They stay unmotivated to complete school and get a job which can make them desperate for any source of income In one study of the Vancouver sex trade 53 of the women who were interviewed were aboriginal

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