Australia and Canada share a colonial history that prompts the people in the respective countries to initiate the same negative tendencies to its indigenous population, says a leading Canadian advocate.
Canada International states that both Australia and Canada have a similar colonial past in being members of the British Empire. Both countries, therefore, appear to give similar treatment to the survivors of the colonial wars, thereby affecting their population in a negative manner.
Canadian Aboriginal Legal Services head Jonathan Rudin claimed that Canada has faced similar difficulties as Australia when children were placed in the welfare system due to an over-representation of them in the criminal justice system. “It’s the same story,” he said while addressing a Legal Aid Victoria event held on Tuesday in Melbourne. “The reason it’s the same story is English settler colonialism works the same way, which is that you find a place with an indigenous population and then you destroy them as a people.
At the event, Rudin put more emphasis on the child welfare system for most Aboriginal people. Around 50 percent of the children accounted for the Aboriginal population. “If it’s something people want, Aboriginal people have less of it, and if it’s something people don’t want Aboriginal people have more,” he claimed. The statistics showed a similarity between the two countries wherein the Aboriginal population in Canada account for four percent of the population with 25 percent of them making up the prison population, while it is three percent in the case of Australia wherein 27 percent make up prison population.
Rudin said that the main concern is not that the Aboriginal people are committing crimes, but the crisis is that they are sent to prison with no other alternative left for them, which “is not the fault of Aboriginal people.” “Our Gladue reports have made a huge difference to how people are sentenced … and it all changes because the person becomes a person,” he added as quoted by The Guardian.
According to The Guardian, almost 59 percent of detained children in Australia are Indigenous, while the similar proportion is 40 percent in Canada youth jails. As far as Aboriginal women population is concerned, it makes up a third of the female prisoners from both the countries. The advocate stated in the event that most of the Aboriginal children are under the care of the state at the moment rather than being under the care of residential schools. The reason behind this is there are only child welfare organisations available for Aboriginal or indigenous children population and there are no schools to train them.