Just under nine per cent of the 147 offenders in federally run healing lodges last year self-identified as “White” rather than North American Indian, Metis or Inuit.
And factoring in those who self-identify with other races, the total number of non-Indigenous offenders in those healing lodges last year was 11 per cent.
Michael Spratt, a criminal defence lawyer at Abergel Goldstein & Partners in Ottawa, acknowledged that the original goal of healing lodges was to have them focus on Indigenous people.
But, he argued, denying non-Indigenous offenders the chance to use programming that is now proven to help rehabilitation would be unconstitutional.
“We don’t want to start having segregated jails and specific jails for specific religions. That’s not a road I think Canada wants to move down,” he said.
“When these facilities were first designed, it was contemplated that they’d be filled entirely by Indigenous people, but we’ve progressed a long way since 1990.”
Read Amanda Connolly’s full article: Global News