Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Historical aboriginal justice statistics


A researcher here is interested in looking for statistics on aboriginal offenders. Specifically, she is looking for statistics on aboriginal offenders from 1900-1970. What she is looking for is the number of aboriginal offenders, especially the years where they started to grow. She believes they were under-reported in earlier years, but she is not sure when they started to really increase. She looked at Juristat but it only goes back to the mid 1970's. Would you happen to know of any sources that went back earlier than that?

This Juristat report 
refers to the lack of data on this topic.



The annual reports of the Superintendent of Penitentiaries and Commissioner of Penitentiaries contain some (minimal) stats on Aboriginal inmates.

The reports of the Superintendent from 1919 to 1945-46 and the reports of the Commissioner from 1947-48 to 1967-68 are available online in PDF via the Public Safety Canada Library Catalogue. Hopefully these are persistent links:



I looked at only 3 or 4 reports. In the 1920s and '30s the statistical groups were "White", "Coloured", "Indian" and "Mongolian".

In 1959-60 the Commissioner's report gave numbers for male (table 24) and female (table 57) "North American Indians".

Stats-Can does not have that data. The best they have is counts of Aboriginals accused of Homicide, but only as of 2014.

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