Indian Residential Schools were a Crime and Canada's Criminal Justice System Could Not have Cared Less: The IRS Criminal Court Cases

69 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2017 Last revised: 26 Feb 2018

Date Written: May 4, 2017

Abstract

This paper presents a chronological history of the criminal law convictions relating to Canada's Indian residential schools. This paper relies on extensive quotations from the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; adjusted by combining information that is across several chapters within the report and presenting that collected information in a chronological fashion, which the report does not do. Further, this paper provides a concise summary of the criminal convictions; provides citations and quotations from the few court decisions that reported these convictions; provides an extensive summary of the criminal case of Bishop Hubert O'Connor, the only IRS criminal court case to go to the Supreme Court of Canada. The O'Connor case is essential for anyone studying how Canada's legal system treats indigenous women. Finally, this paper provides details on the many ways that records were not produced, investigations did not proceed or did not result in charges or proceeded far too late or sentences were far too lenient.

Canada's new Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will study how the criminal law system, and especially the police, investigated crimes against indigenous women. This paper on the IRS criminal cases argues that there is an extremely long history of the criminal law being used against indigenous people and failing to protect them. That history must serve as a backdrop to the work of the MMIW Inquiry.

Keywords: Indigenous, Aboriginal, Indian, Education, Criminal, Police, History, Canada/Canadian, Human Rights, Child Abuse, Residential Schools, Sentencing

Suggested Citation

McMahon, Thomas, Indian Residential Schools were a Crime and Canada's Criminal Justice System Could Not have Cared Less: The IRS Criminal Court Cases (May 4, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906518 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2906518

Thomas McMahon (Contact Author)

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