The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada

The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada

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By Lisa Monchalin
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2016
448 Pages 5 Images
ISBN 9781442606623
Published Mar 2016
ISBN 9781442608054
Published Mar 2016
ebook (PDF format)
ISBN 9781442606630
Published Mar 2016
Full purchase $39.95
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ISBN 9781442606647
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Indigenous peoples are vastly overrepresented in the Canadian criminal justice system. The Canadian government has framed this disproportionate victimization and criminalization as being an "Indian problem."

In The Colonial Problem, Lisa Monchalin challenges the myth of the "Indian problem" and encourages readers to view the crimes and injustices affecting Indigenous peoples from a more culturally aware position. She analyzes the consequences of assimilation policies, dishonoured treaty agreements, manipulative legislation, and systematic racism, arguing that the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian criminal justice system is not an Indian problem but a colonial one.

Lisa Monchalin is Algonquin, Métis, Huron, and Scottish and teaches in the Department of Criminology at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. She is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to hold a PhD in Criminology. Follow her on Twitter @lmonchalin.

List of Illustrations
Note to Instructors
Teaching Material that Challenges
In the Classroom

Introduction and Purpose: Understanding and Reducing Injustice

1. Introduction to Indigenous Peoples in Canada

2. Introduction to an Indigenous Perspective: Ideology and Teachings

3. Indigenous Governance and Methods of Addressing Crime

4. Historical and Contemporary Colonialism

5. Canadian Legal History: Interpretation of Indigenous Treaties and Rights

6. Indigenous Peoples and the State: Legal Manipulation and Indian Legislation

7. The Impact of Assimilation: Residential Schools and Intergenerational Trauma

8. Crime Affecting Indigenous Peoples: Over-Representation, Explanations, and Risk Factors

9. Violence Affecting Indigenous Women: Struggle, Sexualization, and Subjugation

10. The Real Criminals: Government and Corporate Priorities and Their Failure to Follow Agreements

11. Modern Agreements and Land Claims: The Government's Desire for "Economic Certainty"

12. Euro-Canadian "Justice" Systems and Traditional Indigenous Justice

13. Moving Forward: Lighting the Eighth Fire

Monchalin's timely and innovative book exposes ugly truths about Canada's 'colonial problem' in a comprehensive and compelling way. With a clear focus on the restoration of justice and harmony for Indigenous peoples, Monchalin provides pathways for reimagining and decolonizing current relationships via land-based resurgence, artistic resistance, community campaigns, and ultimately reclaiming the rebellious dignity of Indigenous nations and peoples. This is an important read for anyone seeking Indigenous perspectives on justice and the impacts of ongoing, shape-shifting colonization on Indigenous communities.

Jeff Corntassel, University of Victoria

Written from an Indigenous perspective, comprehensive yet easy to read, and complete with discussion questions and activities, this book would be a useful classroom text for justice studies, sociology, Indigenous studies, political science, and history. Highly recommended!

Rob Nestor, Justice Studies, University of Regina

This textbook is long overdue, brilliantly written, and filled with pertinent information that all Canadians and all Indigenous peoples need to know. Monchalin leaves no stone unturned. Understanding this text is key if we truly want to learn to 'live together in a good way' and move toward a 'just' society.

Wenona Victor, University of the Fraser Valley