Decolonizing Policing in Indigenous Communities
From: Canadian Policing
In Decolonizing Policing in Indigenous Communities author Kent Roach explores the compatibility between increased Indigenous self-determination and policing. The task of decolonizing Canadian policing is urgent but difficult. In part because of police practices, Indigenous people constitute about a third of those imprisoned in Canada with even greater over-representation of Indigenous women and youth. The overpolicing and underprotection of Indigenous people will not change without fundamental change to policing in the cities where most Indigenous people in Canada now live. The chapter explores topics the Indian Policing Policy Review, the 1990 Oka Crisis, 1991 Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry, policing of Indigenous protests across Canada as well as successes in existing Indigenous police services such as the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service, active over 26 years, the Pikangikum Police, and need for Indigenous police forces within Urban centers where most Indigenous people live today.
Kent Roach is a professor of law at the University of Toronto. He formerly served as law clerk to Justice Bertha Wilson of the Supreme Court and as director of research to numerous inquiries and reviews, including the Commission of Inquiry into the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 and the Independent Review of the Toronto Police’s Missing Persons Investigations that resulted in the Missing and Missed Report (2021) by Justice Gloria Epstein. He also served on the research advisory committees for the Arar and Ipperwash inquiries, which both involved a review of police conduct. He wrote expert reports on police-government relations for Ontario’s Ipperwash Inquiry and Quebec’s Inquiry into the Protection of Journalist Sources. He has served on the expert panels convened by the Canadian Council of Academies that produced Policing in the 21st Century: New Policing for New Challenges (2014) and Towards Peace, Harmony and Well-Being: Policing in Indigenous Communities (2019). He was volume lead for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s volume five on the legacy of residential schools for Indigenous people. Acting pro bono, he has represented Aboriginal Legal Services in a number of Supreme Court cases, including R v Gladue on sentencing and R v Golden on police powers. He is the author with Craig Forcese of False Security: The Radicalization of Canadian Anti-Terrorism, which won the 2016 Canadian Law and Society book prize. His book Canadian Justice Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colton Boushie Case was short-listed for 2019 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize and his Due Process and Victims’ Rights and The Supreme Court on Trial were both shortlisted for the Donner Prize. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2015, and awarded the Molson Prize for contributions to the social sciences and humanities in 2017.