Aboriginal Legal Services




Aboriginal Legal Services calls on Minister Orazietti to take IMMEDIATE ACTION to stop the inhumane treat of Adam Capay

October 26, 2016


Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) calls on the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS), David Orazietti, to immediately release Mr. Adam Capay from segregation and to alleviate the harsh circumstances that Mr. Adam Capay is experiencing.

ALS believes that Mr. Capay’s Constitutional and Charter rights are being infringed. Urgent and immediate action is required to ensure that Mr. Capay’s health, mental health and well-being are paramount considerations while he is in MCSCS’s custody. ALS has written the Minster expressing their concerns and their call for immediate resolution to have Mr. Capay removed from segregation.


Maggie Wente, the Vice President of ALS’s Board of Directors stated: “The custodial circumstances of Adam Capay are absolutely appalling. The use of administrative segregation in this case exemplifies how the treatment of vulnerable Aboriginal inmates without any apparent accountability has grave effects on their well being” ALS’s Program Director Jonathan Rudin added “The reliance on solitary confinement in Ontario has gone on for too long. While the issue is being studied the human rights of prisoners continues to be violated with horrendous consequences. What is needed at this point is not further study but action.”

The Legal Director for ALS, Christa Big Canoe, said “What is most concerning is that administrative segregation occurs behind closed doors and out of public’s mind. The whole situation leads me to wonder and worry about how many more Aboriginal inmates in Ontario are experiencing the same unacceptable situation Mr. Capay finds himself in right now.”


Ms. Big Canoe added: “One of the responsibilities the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services has is to maintain and monitor Ontario's adult correctional institutions. The gross mismanagement of the custodial care being provided to Adam Capay is but one more illustration that Canadian justice system harms Aboriginal inmates. It is not good enough for the Minister to state he does not comment on individual cases. If this case does demonstrate the need to monitor the institutes, I am not sure what does. It is time for the Minister to take action.”


Media Contacts:

Christa Big Canoe, Legal Director, Aboriginal Legal Services 647-227-4392; email: canoecd@lao.on.ca

Jonathan Rudin, Program Director, Aboriginal Legal Services 416-616-0697 email: rudinj@lao.on.ca


Canadian police must acknowledge racial bias to fix it, Indigenous advocates say

'We're not talking people getting shot so much, but we are talking about physical abuse'

By Nicole Ireland, CBC News Posted: Sep 25, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 26, 2016 9:02 AM ET



'Unconscious bias'


Racial discrimination is deeply ingrained in the policing and justice systems and can't be addressed until it's acknowledged, said Caitlyn Kasper, a lawyer at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto who has handled race-based complaints against police.



Caitlyn Kasper, a staff lawyer at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, says it's hard for police to admit to racial bias. (Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto)


"You're talking about a history based on, you know, hundreds of years of relationship between Indigenous people and government institutions," she said. "One of the hardest things that I have ... found in the work that I've done is for police officers to admit that there's a problem."


The heads of some police forces say they are making efforts to both face and address the problem.


"We recognize that there is a long standing distrust of police by Indigenous people," said Chris Adams, spokesman for the Thunder Bay Police Service, in a statement to CBC News on Saturday. "When mistakes are made, we must take responsibility for them. Reviews of policing practices create a great opportunity to evolve how policing services are provided.


"There is a cultural divide in our country which needs to be healed," Adams said. "We must always remember that beneath the issues, the uniforms and the challenges, we are all human."






Let us know how we can help you!