Special Issue 37.3
DR. VICKI CHARTRAND, Guest Editor
—We acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay our respects to elders of past, present, and future.
Editorial: Indigenous and Racialized Justice: Segregation Is Not a Pathway to Healing
By DR. VICKI CHARTRAND
INDIGENOUS AND RACIAL JUSTICE
Just Futures: Race, Nation, and the State
A Conversation with EL JONES & VICKI CHARTRAND
By EL JONES and VICKI CHARTRAND, PhD
This Conversation with El Jones and Vicki Chartrand is adapted from a panel series (Just Futures) held by the UBC Social Justice Institute Graduate Student Association on February 7, 2022. Tremendous gratitude goes to Lindsay Nkem, David Ng, Elaina Nguyen and Shannon Srivastava for their work, energy, and spirit in organizing this panel and series: www.justfuturesubc.wordpress.com. This conversation looks at how race remains a central organizing feature of colonialism and how it has mushroomed into multiple discriminations. Dispelling the myths of Canadian tolerance, Chartrand and Jones link the violence in prisons, criminal justice systems, and society generally to the free-world’s history of Black slavery, Indigenous genocide, socio-economic exclusion of non-White, non-European immigrants, and indentured workers, with the current rise in discrimination and violence against groups also having visible markers (such as sex workers, queer and trans people, people with mental illness or living with disabilities). These systemic processes extend across all public and private spaces through mass incarceration.
Colonial Automobility and Roads to Resistance
By THALIA ANTHONY, JUANITA SHERWOOD & HARRY BLAGG
Positing the automobile as a tool of colonial domination, the authors discuss its uses over time, such as by colonial settlers taking Indigenous lands; law enforcement’s forcible taking of Indigenous children to residential schools and missions; and in race-specific, high-speed police (pursuit) chases that end in preventable deaths. One Inquest cited police driving out of control (unaware they were travelling at 134 kms per hour) during a 21-second pursuit of a young Aboriginal driver (being chased only because his automobile seemed “dodgy” to police patrollers). The authors report that some First Nations communities have countered such necropolitical uses of the automobile by ‘getting there first’ using Night Patrols by community members capable of dispute resolution and, thus, local community crime circumvention without police assistance. Anthony, Sherwood and Blagg fathom this Indigenization of the automobile as a multi-layered act of resistance, actualizing Aboriginal self-determination and traditional justice practices. It is noteworthy, while this article focusses exclusively on Australia’s colonial domination of First Nations people, the obvious parallels with the settler-colony/Indigenous Peoples history of Canada and other Western nations will speak volumes to Canadian readers.
An Act of Racialized State Violence: New Zealand Police Take Extralegal Photographs of Māori Youth
By ANTJE DECKERT, ADELE NORRIS & JUAN TAURI
Racialized ‘crime strategy’ in New Zealand hails from the 19th century and was solidly reinforced over time within the entire justice system – the courts, the prisons, and parole boards. After integrating the sweeping Māori urbanization between WW2 and 1966, the economic downturn of the 1970s, and the subsequent multipronged State violence inflicted on Māori, the authors zero in on 2021 to explore the unlawful photographing of Māori children by New Zealand Police as an act of State violence. The growing targeting, unwarranted data collection, and many other daily discriminations not only constitute a public health issue but are signs of more to come.
To Cause to Feel Burdened in Spirit
By CHARLES JAMIESON
In this testimonial-enriched article, the author speaks out against the intentional infliction of Spiritual loneliness on Indigenous people over time as a means of assimilation and/or genocide. Jamieson, an Indigenous prisoner having spent approximately 460 days in administrative segregation since 1996, points out that the segregation from community and ‘isolation in the hole’ culminate in a purposely inflicted Spiritual loneliness. Discussing the stability enjoyed by Indigenous people in their communities prior to first contact, Jamieson lists the residential school and prison as systems designed to ‘break the Indian’ and laments these assimilation tactics of oppression, emphasizing that they cut at the very heart of Indigenous relations with the Creator and can shatter the will to live.
Series of paintings with descriptive texts: CROW WOMAN, INDIGENOUS WARRIOR WOMEN, KITA NIA/ECOUTES-MOI/LISTEN TO ME, LE RETOUR DU FILS PRODIGE “& PRODIQUE”
By Abenaki artist MAMIJO (PAPILLON LUNE) / KURT NICHOLAS ROUGIER
By DARYLE E. KENT
Kewatino Ininni, Anishinabé
In a high security prison since 1984, Kent reflects on the racism at school where he experienced ongoing taunts and racist slurs from the White boys. Arrested at the age of 13 for possession of a weapon after a school fight with those boys, he explains his ‘colonial’ trajectory through youth detention and provincial jail to federal prison where he was eventually charged with the murder of two guards. Kent laments the lack of an impartial investigative body in this country able to mandate Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to create an environment respecting the rule of law. Kent points out that rules against racism must be made enforceable to stop the persecution of Indigenous Peoples both inside and out of the prison. Kent lost both of his parents when he was five and considers himself lucky to not have been caught in the sixties scoop. Being raised on the reserve with community and all the tools needed to live more traditionally was not the problem, but it was having to relinquish his Indigenous identity when entering White communities. While history has shown to be one continuous struggle with different phases of genocide, Kent concludes with a message of hope.
The Boy and His Sandcastle
By ZAKARIA AMARA
Twelve years into a life sentence for his role in the Toronto 18 terror plot at age 20, the author remains thankful no one was killed, asks for forgiveness, and discusses his three years of pre-trial custody and six years in Canada’s Super Max prison. Now in a minimum-security facility, the author shares insights into his own process of radicalization and the global issues at play. Attributing his own radicalization to a perfect storm of internal and external influences over time, Amara recalls discrimination as a child living in Jordan, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia but also in Canada, where he was not White enough to fit in. Amara recalls how news of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and resulting mass killings of innocent civilians pushed him over the radical edge. Years later, in prison, news of atrocities related to the ISIS caliphate would set him free. Amara does not blame Islam for the radicalization of Muslim people around the globe, pointing rather to the 100 years of oppression and corruption in that region and the current extreme socio-economic exclusion of Muslim people in most Western nations today.
YOUNG RESEARCHER CONTRIBUTIONS
“Unmanageable threats?”: An examination of the Canadian
Dangerous Offender designation as applied to Indigenous people
By EMILY LAMPRON
In 2018-2019, 35.5% of people with a Dangerous Offender designation in Canada were Indigenous (Public Safety Canada, 2020, p. 117). This present research seeks to explain why this designation disproportionately targets Indigenous people by specifically examining the ways in which the courts erase settler colonialism in the decision-making process of Dangerous Offender designation hearings. The author’s research shows that risk discourses dominate much of the case law reports analyzed during her study and how the impacts of settler colonialism are translated into individual risk factors in the process (Lampron, 2022). The author points out that many of the risk factors justifying the application of this designation are in fact symptomatic of settler colonialism. Lampron concludes that the unique experience of settler colonialism is either erased or translated into risk factors by various experts of the courts, which keeps alive a colonial, White-Indigenous / civilized-uncivilized paradigm putting Indigenous people at greater risk of receiving an indeterminate sentence and contributes to their high rates of incarceration.
Risk tools in Canadian federal prisons: Colonial erasures
through security classifications
By SAHR MALALLA
Sahr Malalla explores how Correctional Service Canada (CSC) has legitimated the use of actuarial instruments in its initial security classification and penitentiary placement procedure, despite known criticisms including the disproportionate number of Indigenous people imprisoned at higher security classification levels compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts. This article demonstrates how CSC appeals to justifications grounded in an actuarial rationality that facilitates the ontological erasure of Indigenous people in prison, consistent with a logic of elimination (Wolfe, 2006) inherent in settler colonial societies.
Opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the Association’s views, but are included to encourage reflection and action on the criminal justice system throughout Canada.