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Banishment: Not a Simple Fix – The Leader-Post

by NationTalk on January 11, 2012611 Views

Editorial: Banishment: not a simple fix

Banishing troublemakers is a complex legal issue

LEADER-POST JANUARY 11, 2012

Saskatchewan’s experience with the controversial practise of “banishment” – removing troublemakers from their communities – suggests a need for caution in its application.

The issue is in the news after residents of an Alberta reserve voted last week to give their band the power to evict or “banish” suspected gang members to address recent problems with “undesirable activity” and violence, including the death of a five year old in a drive-by shooting. (On Tuesday, the RCMP charged three youths with manslaughter related to that incident}.

Banishment has been used by First Nations to address lawlessness and anti-social behaviour for hundreds of years, but its use remained largely unknown in wider society until a high-profile Saskatchewan case in the 1990s. It involved a La Ronge man who was convicted by a Court of Queen’s Bench judge of sexual assault, assault and uttering death threats.

Read more: http://www.leaderpost.com/news/Editorial+Banishment+simple/5976850/story.html#ixzz1jAZ01PFv

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