Key Aspects of Employment


An  important aspect for consideration is the commonly held belief that a productive member of society – one of the goals of sentencing – a person goes to work every day, has a good education, and seeks to own a home.

This is not the case for many Aboriginal people, by choice or by reality. 

The issue of employment is one of the key areas where the different world views come into play.

The Court often sees employment as the answer to ‘how does this offender meet his/her financial obligations to his family, the community?

The court is saying, ‘can I trust you when you leave this court to meet the values and goals of sentencing’ of which employment is tied too.

The court wants to know, if the Offender is not employed, how does he meet his obligations? Is he just wondering around the community?  Is he sitting around or getting into trouble?

Gladue Tip: Questions to Consider When Looking at Employability

Does a lack of achievement in education or employment reflect the individuals level of motivation or the norm within that particular community?

Are their external factors that impact the individuals productivity; lack of employment in the First Nation, difficulties in the relationship with local non-aboriginal employers, no transportation to worksites etc…?

Has the accused other means of providing for themselves and their dependents; hunting, p/t work, cash jobs?

If they are on assistance do they access this service regularly or on specific occasions (i.e. seasonally, sporadically) and does this meet their needs?

What does the accused do with their time when not attending school or working?