Locking Up Natives in Canada

Faculty Author Type

Emeritus Faculty [Michael Jackson]

Published In

University of British Columbia Law Review

Document Type


Publication Date



Indigenous peoples; Criminal justice system; Imprisonment


Statistics regarding the impact of the criminal justice system on native people in Canada are so stark and appalling that the magnitude of the problem can be neither misunderstood nor interpreted away. Native people come into contact with Canada's correctional system in numbers grossly disproportionate to their representation in the community. More than any other group in Canada they are subject to the damaging impacts of the criminal justice system's heaviest sanctions. This paper examines Canadian criminal justice statistics from 1960s through 1980s and advocates for aboriginal justice systems.