Northern justice issues are the topic of discussion at a Prince Albert conference this week.
The Northern Justice Symposium runs May 15-17.
Saskatchewan Senator Lillian Dyck was the keynote speaker on Wednesday morning.
She says Indigenous women simply do not get a fair shake when it comes to Canada’s justice system.
In order to remedy the problem, Senator Dyck has put forward Bill S-215 which would see judges take into account a women’s Indigenous heritage at sentencing hearings.
“The data that I have shown, shows that when it’s an Indigenous victim, the charges are downgraded more often to manslaughter,” she says. “Why?”
Senator Dyck adds racial profiling of Indigenous men is also a problem in the Canadian justice system.
She says police often become too focused on Indigenous men when it comes to investigating violent crimes against Indigenous women.
“The RCMP have traditionally blamed it on Aboriginal men and it’s not just Aboriginal men, it’s men from all of our communities.”
The justice symposium wraps up on Thursday.
(Photo: Master of Ceremonies Simon Bird speaks at the Northern Justice Symposium. Photo by Fraser Needham)