“It is important when sentencing a convicted Indigenous offender that judges be provided with information and facts pertaining to the historical circumstances facing Indigenous people in Saskatchewan,” said Keith Carlson, a professor in the College of Arts and Science’s Department of History and Research Chair in Aboriginal and Community-Engaged History.
“Additionally, people need to be provided with appropriate intellectual frameworks and scholarly apparatus so that they can distinguish and understand the colonial experience of Canada’s Indigenous people from other forms of colonialism that have existed elsewhere,” he said.
Gladue reports are pre-sentencing or bail hearing reports stemming from a landmark 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision, based on a section of the Criminal Code, advising lower courts to consider Indigenous offenders’ backgrounds during sentencing.
The reports can contain recommendations to a court on an appropriate sentence and provide details about the impacts of settler colonialism on an Indigenous person’s background, such as residential school history, physical or sexual abuse, interactions with the child welfare system, addictions and other health issues.
The new Gladue Rights Research Database provides lawyers, researchers and others with instant access to the insights and conclusions of more than 500 academic works related to the history of settler colonialism in Saskatchewan. It also includes a large and growing body of oral history resources and key archival documents.