A mural in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo: AdolfGalland
Canada | Law

Native people are more likely to be shot and killed by police in Canada



Native people accounted for nearly 15 percent of fatal police shootings in Canada between 2000 and 2017, according to data compiled by CBC News.

Native people represented 4 percent of the entire population during that time. So they were over-represented in fatal encounters with law enforcement, the data shows.

"I think the statistics really confirm that there is a high level of police racism abuse and violence towards Indigenous peoples," Mi'kmaq lawyer, professor and activist Pam Palmater told CBC.

In some provinces, the rate was even higher. According to the data, 11 of the 19 people killed in police encounters in Manitoba were Native -- representing nearly 58 percent of the deaths in a place where Natives are about 6 percent of the population.


In neighboring Saskatchewan, 62.5 percent of police deaths were Native. Native people make up about 16 percent of the population in the province.

The data also shows that police deaths involving Native people were almost exclusive to provinces in western Canada, where Native populations are larger. For example, there were 0 recorded cases in Nova Scotia or in Newfoundland & Labrador during the period in question.

Overall, 69 of the 461 fatal police encounters involved Native people, according to the CBC data. The number of police deaths, per province or territory, follows:
• Alberta: 11 out of 71 deaths, or 15. percent of cases
• British Columbia: 14 out of 98 deaths, or 14.3 percent
• Manitoba: 11 out of 19 deaths, or 57.9 percent
• New Brunswick: 0 out of 4 deaths, or 0 percent
• Newfoundland & Labrador: 0 out of 3 deaths, or 0 percent
• Northwest Territories: 1 out of 1 deaths, or 100 percent
• Nova Scotia: 1 out of 3 deaths, or 33.3 percent
• Nunavut: 5 out of 5 deaths, or 100 percent [Nunavut is almost exclusively Native]
• Ontario: 7 out of 152 deaths, or 4.6 percent
• Prince Edward island: 0 deaths
• Quebec: 8 out of 87 deaths, or 9.1 percent
• Saskatchewan: 10 out of 16 deaths, or 62.5 percent
• Yukon Territory: 1 out of 2, or 50 percent

In the United States, Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police officers than any other racial or ethnic group, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. But there has been little official attention to the issue.

Read More on the Story:
Deadly force -- Fatal encounters with police in Canada: 2000-2017 (CBC News April 6, 2018)
Most people who died in police encounters in Manitoba were Indigenous, CBC investigation finds (CBC News April 6, 2018)

Related Stories:
Young Santee Sioux man was shot by police officer while being dragged (April 5, 2018)
Albert Bender: Wisconsin police kill 14-year-old indigenous boy on his own homeland (December 12, 2017)
Bad River Band demands federal investigation into fatal shooting of 14-year-old boy (November 17, 2017)
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