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


From the Publisher:

"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." 

From the Author's Introduction, Page XXIX:

"The broad goal of this book is to provide an expansive consideration and in-depth examination of the injustice affecting Indigenous peoples. Injustice id defined as a lack of harmony and balance. This book seeks to illuminate this lack of harmony and balance in an effort to seek justice for Indigenous people. It does not seek to outline or apply the dominant Western conception of justice, which pursues and individualist and materialistic sameness. Rather, it seeks Indigenous justice, which Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred describes as “the achievement of respectful coexistence – restoration of harmony to the network of relationships and renewed commitment to ensuring the integrity and physical, emotional, and spiritual health of all individuals and communities. Thus, to seek justice is to strive for harmony, balance, and peaceful coexistence. -

By drawing on and bringing together various literatures, voices, histories, and interpretations, as well as by interjecting my own personal understandings of such works, I hope to shed lights on the injustices affecting Indigenous peoples. However, so many injustices face Indigenous peoples today that they cannot be outlined in the small confines of one book. Nevertheless, the purpose of this book is to illuminate as much as it can of the past, current, and ongoing injustices affective Indigenous peoples, so as to further the aim of seeking harmony balance. " (XXIX).

Publication Information

Monchalin, Lisa. The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Monchalin, Lisa
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