Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

March 05, 2015 11:12 ET

Government of Canada Announces Funding for Aboriginal Justice Programs in Saskatoon

Funding Supports a Range of Services to the Local Aboriginal Community

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - March 5, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced $537,990 in funding over two years for three Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) justice-related programs.

Through its urban programs, the STC receives referrals for extrajudicial measures and sanctions for youth, assists victims of crime, and helps at-risk youth, their families, and the community to understand their rights, the justice system and family rebuilding processes.

The funding announced today will also aid youth in understanding and maintaining conditions imposed on them while in supervised mediation agreements. The rural programs include extra-judicial sanctions and alternative measures programming for youth and adults in six rural First Nation communities in the Saskatoon region. The measures include various culturally appropriate circles, victim/offender mediation, and diversion programs. The programs also deliver crime prevention and public education activities.

The funding is provided as part of the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, through which the 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. These programs also enable Aboriginal people to assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities and strengthen the voice of victims.

As part of Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government had already made a commitment to invest in the Aboriginal Justice Strategy by providing $22.2 million over two years. 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 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

"Our Government will continue to work with partners like the Saskatoon Tribal Council to help address the challenges that Aboriginal people face in the justice system. It is important that Saskatoon's Aboriginal community have the tools it needs to address crime and to provide its members with culturally appropriate access to the justice system."

The Honourable Peter MacKay

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"We are encouraged by the success of this organization in helping to address the disproportionately high rates of victimization, crime, and incarceration experienced by Aboriginal peoples here in Saskatoon. I am pleased that our Government can support them in their continued efforts to help keep their communities safe."

Brad Trost

Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Humboldt

"Working together to address Aboriginal justice issues is a vital part of developing safe and healthy communities in Saskatchewan. The Government of Saskatchewan is proud of this relationship and look forward to continuing our work with our federal colleagues for years to come."

Gordon Wyant

Saskatchewan Minister of Justice and Attorney General

Related Documents:

Backgrounder: Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC)

Associated Links

Aboriginal Justice Strategy

Community-Based Justice Fund

Capacity-Building Fund

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Backgrounder

Aboriginal Justice Strategy Funding - Saskatoon Tribal Council

The Government of Canada will provide the Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) with a total of $537,990 in funding over two years for three programs which provide a range of services to Aboriginal communities in the Saskatoon region. These services include restorative justice activities which address crime in a community-based and culturally relevant way. Restorative justice has been shown to reduce recidivism and help mitigate some of the challenges faced by Aboriginal Canadians in the mainstream justice system.

The three STC programs, which are cost-shared with the Province of Saskatchewan, are the STC Community Justice Program and the Extrajudicial Measures Program and Opikinawasowin Reintegration Program.

The Saskatoon Tribal Council Community Justice Program

The STC Community Justice Program (the "Program") supports restorative justice initiatives at the community level for the Yellow Quill First Nation, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation, Muskeg Cree Nation, Muskoday First Nation, Whitecap Dakota First Nation and One Arrow First Nation. The STC Community Justice Program includes extra-judicial sanctions and alternative measures programming for youth and adults. These include various culturally appropriate community circles, victim/offender mediation, and diversion programs. The Program also includes crime prevention and public education activities.

The Program has developed excellent relationships with the Crown and has also seen an increase in the number of requests for sentencing circles. Recognizing challenges in securing pre-charge referrals, the Program has been proactively seeking ways to build sustainable relationships with the RCMP.

Through the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the Government will provide the STC Community Justice Program with $340,842: $170,421 in fiscal year 2014-15 and $170,421 in fiscal year 2015-16.

The Extrajudicial Measures Program and the Opikinawasowin Reintegration Program

STC Urban First Nations Services Inc. (STC Urban), an entity of the STC, provides a number of programs that support and assist youth, adults and their families throughout the duration of their involvement in the criminal justice system. STC Urban provides a community-based and culturally relevant Extrajudicial Measures Program, which includes mediation, restorative justice services and counselling for youth. STC Urban also provides the Opikinawasowin Reintegration Program for youth 12 to 17 years old. Through Opikinawasowin, young people can have access to services such as life-skills training, coping skills development, employment, education, and recreational activities.

Through the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the Government will provide the Extrajudicial Measures Program and the Opikinawasowin Reintegration Program with $197,148: $98,574 for fiscal year 2014-15 and $98,574 for 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