Legal Aid Alberta's Jessica Buffalo appeared on Global News Morning Edmonton to explain the process that goes behind the Gladue report and its impact on the Canadian justice system.
An individual’s family, community and personal history can often affect a person’s life and decision-making. For Indigenous people in Canada, there can be a complex history of residential schools, intergenerational trauma and other factors that impact their lives.
“There are a lot of traumas that are still felt from the residential school system…the discovery of bodies of children continue, and these traumas have led these communities to the foster care system, the Sixties’ Scoop and overrepresentation of the Indigenous population in prison,” says Legal Aid Alberta lawyer, Jessica Buffalo.
Over the years, Canadian laws and courts have established a process for Indigenous offenders that allows for judges to look into what is called a Gladue report. Judges use this pre-sentencing report to take into consideration the multitude of factors that can lead an Indigenous person to become in conflict with the law. “This information can be used even before the person comes to court, which helps avoid re-traumatizing them in during the sentencing,” says Buffalo.
Unfortunately, not many Canadians are aware of this process – watch the video below to learn more about its impact on the Canadian justice system.
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Previously on Ask a Lawyer: