Call Made To Help Native Offenders Find Basics

Thursday, September 15, 2005 at 14:33



A northern court worker has some advice for Canada’s justice minister.


Gilbert Merasty — who’s originally from Pelican Narrows — was hoping to speak to Irwin Cotler during the minister’s recent visit to his home community, but didn’t get the chance.


Cotler was in Saskatchewan last month to review the province’s Aboriginal justice initiatives, including the Cree court system.


Merasty says Aboriginal people turn to crime because of poor living conditions.


He says there are many underlying issues that steer Aboriginal people into a life of crime, including lack of education.


However, Merasty says he has spoken with many Aboriginal offenders who have told him they commit crimes just to get a hot meal and a warm bed.