'Violent' Aboriginal Women Offenders and the Canadian Correctional System

Colleen Ann Dell, Carleton University

Selective research attention has been allotted to the area of "violent" women offenders in Canada. Research in the area largely portrays women involved in "violent" offences as "unnatural/evil". This identification is further upheld in the limited existing theoretical and empirical inquiry into "violent" conduct by Aboriginal women. The findings of this study support that the portrayal of Aboriginal women involved in "violent" conduct as "unnatural/evil" is based on a mythical social creation rather than valid and reliable research. This study's specific focus on the federal imprisonment phase of the Canadian criminal justice process, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), reveals that the identifification, and ensuing control and treatment of "violent" Aboriginal women is deeply embedded within CSC's oppressive historic structure. This finding is used as a benchmark to compare and contrast with the current ideological and material operation of the new regional federal correctional facilities for women in Canada.

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Updated 05/20/2006