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

Duration of Tour de Rock stop in Chemainus much shorter than usual

Four alumni riders don’t get to come for breakfast in COVID year

Celebrating 50 years of Rotary in action

The Rotary Club of Ladysmith was formed September 20, 1970

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Paul Manly reacts to Liberal throne speech

Manly says the Liberals need to back up their promises with action

Island Savings closes Ladysmith branch

Ladysmith branch members can be served by the Chemainus branch

No safe mask option for bearded members, RCMP says, but force is exploring solutions

RCMP says respirator not mandatory in all front-line situations, but sometimes needed to reduce risk

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Police seek help in naming Cowichan farm stand theft suspect

Video captured man prying cash box out stand on Norcross Road

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Pedestrian dies in motor vehicle incident along the highway near Nanaimo Airport

Police investigating scene where 37-year-old woman from Nanaimo died

Most Read