Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

March 04, 2015 12:28 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding for Aboriginal Justice Program in Alberta

Funding Supports Culturally Appropriate Justice Activities in the Kainai First Nation Community

STAND OFF, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - March 4, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, John Barlow, Member of Parliament for MacLeod, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minster of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced $641,860 in funding for the Kainai Peacemaking Program. This community-based program works to restore personal, family and community relationships by using traditional Kainai peacemaking practices such as mediation and conflict resolution.

The funding is being provided as part of the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, through which the federal government works with provinces, territories and Aboriginal communities to support community-based justice programs. These programs provide an alternative to the mainstream justice system for less serious offences in appropriate circumstances. They also enable Aboriginal people to assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities and strengthen the voice of victims.

Economic Action Plan 2014 had already committed the Government to invest $22.2 million over two years in the Aboriginal Justice Strategy. The Government recently announced that it will extend its support of this important work to include an additional $11.1 million for fiscal year 2016-17.

Quick Facts

  • The Aboriginal Justice Strategy currently supports approximately 275 community-led programs that serve more than 800 urban, rural, and Northern communities, both on and off-reserve.

  • The Strategy consists of two key funds:

    • The Community-Based Justice Fund, which supports community-based justice programs in partnership with Aboriginal communities. Programs are cost-shared with provincial and territorial governments and are designed to reflect the culture and values of the communities in which they are situated.

    • The Capacity-Building Fund, which helps strengthen training and professional development for existing Aboriginal community justice programs and fosters partnerships between the mainstream justice system and Aboriginal communities.

  • The Aboriginal Justice Strategy is part of the Government's Plan for Safe Streets and Communities. This Plan focuses on tackling crime, enhancing victims' rights, and ensuring the justice system is fair and efficient.

  • Since Aboriginal Justice Strategy programs play a role in holding offenders accountable, the Strategy was also identified as one of the federal government's responses to violence against Aboriginal women. This was outlined in the Government of Canada's Action Plan to Address Family Violence and Violent Crimes Against Aboriginal Women, announced on September 15, 2014.

Quotes

"Aboriginal people face unique challenges in the mainstream justice system; I am pleased that with our Government's support, programs like the Kainai Peacemaking Program are able to help continue to address many of these difficulties faced in the their community."

The Honourable Peter MacKay

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"The Kainai Peacemaking Program has done great work to ensure that crime is dealt with in a fair and culturally appropriate way. We are optimistic that our Government's continued support will lead to continued success and safer communities here in Alberta."

John Barlow

Member of Parliament for MacLeod

Related Documents:

Backgrounder: Kainai Peacemaking Program

Associated Links

Aboriginal Justice Strategy

Community-Based Justice Fund

Capacity-Building Fund

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Backgrounder

Kainai Peacemaking Program

The Kainai Peacemaking Program (KPP) has been providing justice services to its community members since 2008. Along with its partners, the KPP focuses on restoring communal relationships by revitalizing traditional Blackfoot practices into justice processes. Their services are open to the Crown prosecutor, Alberta provincial courts (including youth and family courts), child welfare agencies, Blood Tribe schools, elder advisory groups and a variety of other community-services agencies.

The KPP Coordinator works with four advisors and 10 Peacekeepers to provide restorative justice for the Blood Tribe's members whether they live off reserve, or on reserve in one of its six communities. Through its strong network, the KPP ensures that clients have access to mental health services, individual and family counselling, stress/anger management, counselling for anxiety or depressive disorders, parenting-skills development, conflict resolution, traditional elder counselling, and a variety of traditionally based healing services to help offenders and victims seek resolution.

The peacemaking sessions facilitated by the KPP help offenders carry out restitution to the victims with peacemaker consent. By following traditional Blackfoot protocol, offenders can also help restore individual relationships and community harmony and develop an appreciation of Blackfoot values critical to spiritual healing.

In addition to services rooted in Blackfoot traditions, the KPP also has strong links to mainstream counselling and assessments to treat the diverse needs of its clients, both offenders and victims.

Through the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the Government will provide the Kainai Peacemaking Program with $641,860; this includes $320,930 in fiscal year 2014-15 and $320,930 in fiscal year 2015-16.

March 2015

Department of Justice Canada

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207