Thank you, Chair.
My questions are for the Correctional Service, but thanks to all the witnesses for being here.
I'm going to run through a couple of outside reports about how we're doing in Canada around the conditions indigenous women receive.
The Native Women's Association of Canada in August of this year said:
not only do federally-sentenced indigenous women not have access to adequate programs and services while imprisoned, but the programs that do exist are neither culturally appropriate, nor geared towards reintegration.
Members of the Elizabeth Fry society visiting this fall the Edmonton Institution for Women were shocked at the very invasive searches, asking indigenous women to lift their breasts and spread their cheeks. For victims of sexual assault and abuse, that was particularly triggering.
The correctional investigator, Ivan Zinger, reported this year that indigenous women remain in segregation nearly nine days, while non-indigenous women spent an average of 6.3 days in solitary confinement, in segregation.
Then a year ago, a United Nations committee recommended that Canada abolish the practice of solitary confinement, and “effectively limit the use of administrative or disciplinary segregation as a measure of last resort for as short a time as possible” and avoid such measures for women with serious mental illness.
Given that we have a lot of concerns about what's happening right now, and I recognize that you can't affect the number of women who come into the institution, can you give the committee reassurance that you're actively working on these outside critiques?