Leading Indigenous academic challenges the "Indian problem"

Thu, Mar 17, 2016

Metro Vancouver, B.C. – Indigenous peoples are vastly overrepresented in the Canadian criminal justice system.

While this disproportionate victimization and criminalization have been framed as an “Indian problem,” the first Indigenous woman in the country to hold a PhD in criminology calls it a “colonial problem”.

In her new book The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada, author and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) instructor Lisa Monchalin analyzes how assimilation policies, dishonoured treaty agreements, manipulative legislation and systematic racism have impacted Indigenous people across the country.

“Education is a crucial starting point for rectifying the injustices of criminalization and victimization that Indigenous peoples experience daily. The need to educate is one of the reasons I chose to write a textbook,” said Monchalin, a Surrey resident.

The Colonial Problem came out of material that was gathered, researched and used in courses Monchalin teaches at KPU, and features the voices and perspectives of many Indigenous scholars, teachers and knowledge keepers from across Turtle Island.

Monchalin has received a grant from KPU to tour her book at 10 universities across the country. The author was also recently awarded the KPU Faculty of Arts Excellence and Advancement Funds Award to hold a local book launch celebrating its release.

The event will be hosted April 4 from 4-7 p.m. at KPU Surrey, and will feature live music, a dance performance by Vancouver-based dance troupe Butterflies in Spirit and a panel discussion.

Copies of The Colonial Problem: An Indigenous Perspective on Crime and Injustice in Canada are available on Amazon.

WHEN: Monday, April 4, from 4-7 p.m.
WHERE: KPU Surrey, 12666 72nd Ave., Conference Centre
INFO: This event is free and open to the public with no registration required. More information is available on Facebook.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at kpu.ca.    

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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