By Amanda Coletta
For more than two decades, Canada’s crime rate has been steadily declining. And since hitting an all-time high in 2012, Canada’s incarceration rate is slowly trending downward, too.
But a report released June 19 from Statistics Canada, the country’s national statistics agency, paints a grim picture of a trend that has for decades bedeviled politicians and that was earlier this month described as “unacceptable” by the chief justice of Canada’s Supreme Court: the increasing overrepresentation of indigenous people behind bars.
The report shows that while indigenous people account for roughly 5 percent of Canada’s total population, they represented 27 percent of its prison population in 2016-2017 — an increase of 8 percentage points over the previous decade.