Aboriginal People and Canadian Law

The Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Child and Family Service Act all have parts that consider the unique legal status of Aboriginal people in Canada.


The Criminal Code of Canada considers the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian criminal justice system, and recognizes the need to take into account additional factors in sentencing an Aboriginal offender.


Sections 718.2 (e) of the Criminal Justice Act and Section 38 (2)(d) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act help judges when sentencing and require the court to remember to:


Consider all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable.

Pay particular attention to the circumstances of Aboriginal offenders.



What is the Gladue court?

The Gladue court is designed to handle the cases of Aboriginal people who have been charged with a criminal offence and propose sentences that are more in line with Aboriginal traditions rather than imprisonment.


Why it is Important for you to Self-Identify?

It is important that you, as First Nations people, Métis people and Inuit people self-identify your Aboriginal ancestry. You should self-identify regardless if you live on or off-reserve, if you are status or non-status, or if you live in a rural or an urban area so your counsel can follow the areas of law that deal with Aboriginal circumstances or rights.



For more information on Gladue Courts and services for Aboriginal clients, please visit Legal Aid Ontario website;