OTTAWA – The NDP Women’s Equality Critic, Sheila Malcolmson, urged the Liberal government to immediately reform treatment of Indigenous women in Canada’s justice and corrections systems. The recommendations in the Standing Committee on the Status of Women’s report tabled Tuesday failed to fully reflect the cycle of injustice, poverty, physical, psychological and sexual violence that Indigenous women disproportionately experience. In response, the NDP submitted a supplementary report entitled "Need for Federal Leadership to Reform Indigenous Women’s Treatment in Canada’s Justice and Correctional Systems”.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for recognition and implementation of Indigenous justice systems consistent with Treaty and Indigenous rights, the Constitution Act, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,” said Romeo Saganash, NDP Reconciliation Critic. “The over incarceration of Indigenous women and the practice of solitary confinement is racist and contribute to cycles of trauma.”

The NDP recommends ending infinite solitary confinement, reversing mandatory minimum sentencing regulations, implementing a national action plan to end violence against Indigenous women and girls, and reforming Correctional Services Canada.

“Racism, residential schools, the child welfare system, poverty, sexism, and unequal access to justice have resulted in over-representation of Indigenous women in Canada’s prisons,” said Malcolmson. “Mass incarceration of Indigenous women is shockingly inconsistent with the Canadian government’s repeated promises of support for Indigenous people and support for women; they need to correct course immediately.”