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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

Web Posted Oct 1 2003 12:10 PM MDT
Aboriginal population linked to crime: report

Edmonton -- Aborignal groups are angry about a claim in the solicitor general's annual report linking rising crime numbers to the native population.

"It's maintaining a stereotype," Lewis Cardinal said. "It's really pointing the finger at aboriginal people for the higher crime rates in Alberta. It's unfair."

In the annual report released Tuesday, under a section looking at why crime rates are higher in western Canada, it mentions the province has an increasing aboriginal population.

"Canada's aboriginal population, which is growing twice as fast as the country's total population and is proportionally younger, is significantly over-represented in the criminal justice system," the report said.

It also mentions factors such as organized crime and a larger youth population in general, saying that category is over-represented as both offenders and victims. As well, the report talks about working with aboriginal communities to develop safer communities.

Peter Tadman, spokesman for the solicitor general, says the statement is simply a matter of fact.

"It's important to those who are in the field of fighting crime, of improving communities," he said. "It's the truth, has been for some time and will continue to be."

Tadman says aborignal people make up six per cent of the population, but 35 per cent of the prison population.

Police don't include ethnicity in their crime statistics.

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