Fight against the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system in Quebec

THE HATQC , November 2, 2022 /CNW/ – Advancing reconciliation requires supporting culturally appropriate, Indigenous-led, community-based justice services. This is a key element in achieving systemic change in our justice system.

Today, the Honorable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canadathe honorable François-Philip ChampagneMinister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice–Champlain, and Grand Chief Constant Awashish of the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw announced funding to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system and provide community justice services to the Aboriginal peoples of Quebec.

The Atikamekw Community Justice Program (PJCA) offers a variety of justice services to meet the specific needs of the Atikamekw Nation in Wemotaci and Manawan, Quebec. These include services in the areas of family mediation, victim support, prevention, diversion and reintegration. By providing culturally appropriate community justice services, including Gladue aftercare services, the PJCA helps reduce the risk of recidivism in the community as well as the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system in Quebec.

Justice Canada provides $908,750 over five years through the Aboriginal Justice Program at the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw to support their efforts to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system. This includes:

  • Community Justice Program (PJCA): $537,500 over five years for the continued delivery of community justice services under the PJCA, and a $181,250 over three years in program integrity funding to support increased demand for these services in the community
  • Gladue tracking services provided through the PJCA: $190,000 over three years to support the delivery of Gladue Aftercare services, to help individuals reintegrate into their communities in a safe and culturally appropriate manner

Addressing the systemic factors that contribute to the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples, as well as systemic racism in the justice system, is part of from Canada commitments set out in the Federal Path to Addressing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People. Today’s announcement also supports from Canada efforts to advance reconciliation in Canada and responding to calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Quotation

“Thanks to his efforts over several years within the framework of the Atikamekw Restorative Justice Program, the Atikamekw Nation is considered a model in the field of restorative justice. Our methods aim not only to bring justice to the victims but also to prevent the perpetrators from reoffending and to limit the intervention of criminal justice. The work is not easy and, for this reason, I am happy to see the expertise of the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw recognized as well as the high quality of the Atikamekw Onikam social service providers. Let’s continue on the right track.”

Grand Chief and President Constant Awashish
Atikamekw Nation Council

“Indigenous peoples are alarmingly overrepresented in from Canada criminal justice system. By supporting Indigenous justice services, like Gladue Aftercare, we are helping to bring about systemic change to address this unacceptable reality. These investments will support our efforts to address systemic discrimination against Indigenous peoples and improve access to justice and fairness in our justice system. »

The Honorable David Lametti, PC, QC, MP
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Collaboration and partnership with Indigenous organizations is essential to advancing reconciliation and transforming the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the justice system. The Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw is an essential partner in these efforts and in the creation of healthier, more dynamic and safer communities in Quebec.

The Honorable François-Philip Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and MNA for Saint-Maurice–Champlain

Fast facts

  • The Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw (CNA) is the official representative of the Atikamekw Nation on the regional, national and international scene. The CNA defends and promotes the social, economic and cultural rights and interests of the Atikamekw Nation and ensures the delivery of programs and services at the community level.
  • To help reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system, the Government of from Canada Fall Economic Statement 2020 invested $49.3 million support the implementation of the Gladue principles in the justice system through Canada, as well as Indigenous-led responses. Support to the Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw for the delivery of Gladue aftercare services through the PJCA is part of this investment.
  • Implementing the Gladue Principles in the justice system responds to Calls to Action 30, 31 and 38 of the TRC and calls from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to Justice 5.11, 5.15 and 5.16.
  • Justice Canada Indigenous Justice Program (IJP) supports Indigenous community justice programs that provide alternatives to conventional justice processes in appropriate circumstances. The objectives of the program are:
    • help Indigenous peoples assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities;
    • reflect and include Aboriginal values ​​in the justice system; and,
    • contribute to a decrease in the rate of victimization, crime and incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities with community justice programs funded by the IJP.

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SOURCE Department of Justice Canada

For further information: For further information, media may contact: Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, (613) 992-6568, [email protected]; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, [email protected]; Réjean Nequado, Communications Coordinator, Atikamekw Nation Council, 819-676-7139, [email protected]

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