New statistics say native people are many times more likely to be murdered, jailed or the victims of crime in Canada
Aboriginal people were seven times more likely to be murdered between 1997 and 2000 than non-natives, says a report Tuesday.
The study by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics says 40 per cent of aboriginals over age 15 reported being crime victims in the previous year, compared with a national average of 28 per cent.
Native people were twice as likely to be repeat victims, three times as likely to be robbed, assaulted or raped, and three and a half times more likely to be attacked by their spouse.
On reserves, the numbers were more grim - aboriginals were eight times more likely to be assaulted and seven times more likely to be sexually assaulted, compared with national averages. Only robbery was less often committed, at a rate of roughly half that for the rest of Canada.
Jodie-Anne Brzozowski, a senior analyst with the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, said aboriginal offenders share several traits that can help guide law and policy makers.
"Being young, having low education, having low incomes, having higher levels of unemployment, being a child raised by lone-parent families, higher rates of mobility and crowded (housing) conditions.
"Those are all things that tend to raise the risk of anyone being a victim or offender. But they tend to be more common among the aboriginal population."
Native people serve an especially disproportionate amount of jail time.
Aboriginal adults make up just three per cent of the population but comprised 21 per cent of provincial inmates and 18 per cent of federal prisoners in 2003-04, says the study.
In Saskatchewan, aboriginals account for 10 per cent of the population but 80 per cent of those sent to provincial jails.
Young native people have a greater chance of landing behind bars than graduating from university, said Larry Chartrand, head of the aboriginal governance program at University of Winnipeg.
Troubling crime numbers
Violent crime stalks aboriginal Canadians: study