Doug White III, chairman of the B.C. First Nations Justice Council, speaks at the endorsing and signing of the First Nations Justice Strategy March 6, 2020, at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

B.C. planning up to 15 First Nations justice centres across the province

Such centres have already opened in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert

The B.C. government is working with the B.C. First Nations Justice Council to determine the locations for new Indigenous justice centres across the province.

In a statement, Attorney General David Eby says Indigenous people have been over-represented in the criminal justice system for too long.

He says the centres will help them navigate the system and offer culturally appropriate supports.

Such centres have already opened in Merritt, Prince George and Prince Rupert, with 12 more planned in the next five years as part of B.C.’s broader First Nations justice strategy launched this year.

Services include legal advice and representation, advocacy and support in dealing with agencies such as police and the Ministry of Children and Family Development, referrals to other services, such as counselling or employment support, and restorative justice options.

Douglas White III, chair of the First Nations Justice Council, says he expects the centres to make a significant difference when it comes to Indigenous experiences with the justice system.

“We are driven by the idea of justice through self-determination,” White said in the news release.

“Our model is to ensure the Indigenous justice centres reflect the priorities and unique needs of First Nations in each respective region.”

The province’s First Nations justice strategy sets out the dual goals of reforming the existing justice system and transforming it through the rebuilding of Indigenous justice system.

According to the strategy, it was developed with the vision it “must achieve a 180-degree shift from the current reality of First Nations people,” who are not only over-represented in the criminal justice system, but who are also under-represented among people with roles and responsibilities within it.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

MP Morrison faults federal Throne Speech as new Parliament session begins

Kootenay-Columbia representative criticizes a lack of focus on jobs, support for resource sector

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

Library has solely offered curbside service since onset of pandemic

Wildlife camera project explores effects of forest management practices on wildlife

Findings show no detections of cougars in sites that have been clear cut

City of Kimberley looking for feedback on active transportation

What do you like about the existing trail network for walking and cycling? What needs improvement?

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, but it didn’t happen

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Province’s response to old growth forest report falls short, says Nelson scientist

Rachel Holt says province is saving areas that don’t need protection, ignoring those that do

Kootenay yearling released into northern wild

Photos: Scroll to the bottom of the story to see Kenzo’s release

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Most Read