November 22, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – In his latest fall report, Canada’s Auditor General Michael Ferguson expressed deep concern over Aboriginal incarceration rates and the quality of First Nations programs.
“The distressing findings of the Auditor General’s report highlight the need to invest in Canada’s Indigenous population,” says CAP Vice-Chief Kim Beaudin. “The report underscores the need for a more focused approach to programs and services that will keep Indigenous people healthy, working and out of prisons.”
The Auditor General echoed what Canada’s Correctional Investigator has been saying for years – that there are far too many Indigenous peoples in prison and they don’t have the tools needed to rehabilitate themselves. “Indigenous offenders are caught in a vicious circle. Most do not get timely access to the programs they need, and because they have not completed a rehabilitation program, they do not get released on parole as early as they could.”
“Education and employment keeps people out of jail,” says Vice-Chief Beaudin. “If Canada made the same investments into employment and skills training, as it does into building prisons, Indigenous Peoples would be living better lives than they are now.”
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The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples is the national voice representing the interests of Métis, status and non-status Indians, and Southern Inuit Indigenous People living off-reserve. Today, over 70% of Indigenous people live off-reserve.