In recognition of Restorative Justice Week, the Department of Justice is highlighting 12 programs or initiatives related to restorative justice. These projects are supported through Justice Canada’s Indigenous Justice Program, the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program and the Youth Justice Fund.

The Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society, British Columbia

The Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society is receiving $422,590 over 5 years from 2017 to 2022.

Funded under the Indigenous Justice Program, the Okanagan Indian Educational Resources Society provides Indigenous restorative justice programming in the South Okanagan area. Its program reinstates traditional disciplines and traditional community practices that assist in the rehabilitation of offenders and healing victims of crime through a restorative action. The Program provides prevention, intervention, rehabilitation and reintegration services with full participation by the Elders, family and community.

Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club, Alberta

Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club is receiving $583,745 over 5 years from 2017 to 2022.

The Saddle Lake Restorative Justice Program, funded under the Indigenous Justice Program, works with community partners, justice partners, and other stakeholders to help resolve conflict with various people and provide community-based diversion options for youth and adults. The program offers Circle Process Services, one-on-one guidance and supports, referrals to elders, as well as referrals to other community services as required. Much of the work is done using circle processes to deal with the conflict and/or harm and create positive change. Referrals to the program may be made for any matter: community, family, or criminal; however, most of the referrals are from criminal court.

Restorative Circles Initiative of Saskatoon Inc., Saskatchewan 

Restorative Circles Initiative of Saskatoon Inc. will receive $500,000 over 3 years from 2020 to 2023.

The New Horizons Program, funded under the Youth Justice Fund, is looking to expand its currently funded project to address identified service gaps to further support justice involved Indigenous and New Canadian Youth who currently make up over 90% of Restorative Circles Initiative’s actual clientele.   More specifically, programming will target youth serving a custodial and/or community based sentence, who are involved with gangs and at high risk of recidivism.  Wraparound programming will be delivered in a culturally appropriate and competent manner and draw from two evidence based models: the Relentless Outreach and the Intensive one on one Mentorship.  Over the course of the project, approximately 60 to 75 youth and their family will receive support to help reduce/prevent breaches and recidivism.

Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba

Norway House Cree Nation is receiving $210,000 over 3 years from 2019 to 2022.

Funded under the Indigenous Justice Program, Norway House Cree Nation is providing prevention, diversion and reintegration services. They embrace restorative justice as the path for justice, healing, and conflict resolution in their community. The core values that guide their path forward are found in their traditional teachings: Respect, Wisdom, Truth, Love, Honesty, Humility and Bravery. Their mandate is to develop and implement cultural and traditional teachings, customs and practices into all restorative justice programming delivered in the community.  

Kids with incarcerated parents (KIP) Canada, Ontario

Kids with incarcerated parents (KIP) Canada will receive $288,354 over 3 years from 2020 to 2023.

This initiative, Breaking the Cycle, funded under the Youth Justice Fund, is a 3 year project using a strengths based, trauma informed and restorative justice framework to enhance the current diversion program for youth (12-17 years old) who are in conflict with the law and have experienced family involvement in the justice system. Specifically, this initiative will provide individualized support, Fresh Start, a 12 weeks rehabilitative program and follow up gender specific support circles to build protective factors, foster resilience, and reduce rates of recidivism.

Makivik Corporation, Québec

Makivik Corporation, is receiving $900,000 over 3 years from 2019 to 2022.

Funded under the Indigenous Justice Program, the Nunavik Justice Program helps administer justice locally, using culturally adapted approaches along the full justice continuum, for youth and adults to deal with underlying causes that led to the crime or conflict. The program focusses on healing individuals, families and communities, repairing harm done to victims and community and restoring peace among them. By offering support and solutions, building resilience and sense of dignity, taking into consideration the safety of the communities, the program empowers the Inuit affected by crime or conflict.

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Québec

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, is receiving $105,000 over 3 years from 2019 to 2022.

Funded under the Indigenous Justice Program, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) and its Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Restorative Justice Circle strives to bring back the traditional teachings of the Algonquin people which have been lost through the impact of colonialism, loss of lands, loss of the Algonquin language, culture and teachings. This program is a place of reconciliation and healing for victims, the offenders, their families and the community particular emphasis on first time youth “offenders” to prevent recidivism.

Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, Québec

Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw is receiving $322,500 over 3 years from 2019 to 2022.

The Atikamekw community justice process  targets adult clients residing in Manawan or Wemotaci with the goal of restoring social peace and harmony in the community through a holistic approach that helps to strengthen Atikamekw identity and values and to reconnect or strengthen ties to their roots.

The Atikamekw community justice process uses the mediation process through the Elder Councils, which consist of 10 members of the Manawan community and 10 members of the Wemotaci community.

Flat Bay Band Inc., Newfoundland and Labrador

Flat Bay Band Inc. will receive $801,876 over 3 years from 2020 to 2023.

Through this project funded under the Youth Justice Fund, Flat Bay Band Inc. will develop and deploy its Ktaqmukuk Youth & Restorative Justice Strategy across 12 Mi’kmaw communities on the island of Newfoundland. The Strategy will include key components such as community profiling to customize cultural capacity training for mental health and justice service providers as well as culturally based services such as, community accountability circles, healing & sentencing circles, and supportive reporting. The strategy is focused on youth mentorship to address mental health and addictions and improve support for youth who come in conflict with the law.

New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety, Community Services Branch, New Brunswick

New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety, Community Services Branch will receive $210,000 over 3 years from 2020 to 2023.

This project, funded under the Youth Justice Fund,  aims to build New Brunswick’s capacity to provide  Restorative Justice  to youth who are in conflict with the Criminal Justice system, while ensuring the approach takes into account the specific need of Indigenous youth.  The activities will take place over a three year period.  The project has three primary objectives: conduct research and consultations on youth focused RJ models to support the development of RJ training tools, resources and guidelines for delivering RJ to youth; increase youth access to RJ in the province through coordinating the delivery of multiple RJ training sessions and ensure that the approach meets the needs of Indigenous youth; and hold a symposium with RJ practitioners and other stakeholder groups related to youth justice to support relationship building, as well as promoting and obtaining feedback on the proposed RJ tools and resources specific to youth.

Coverdale Courtwork Society, Nova Scotia

Coverdale Courtwork Society will receive $204,000 over 3 years from 2020 to 2023.

With their funding under the Youth Justice Fund, Coverdale Courtwork Society will develop, implement and evaluate a pilot program entitled “Girls Path” to support young girls in conflict with the law and help them build on their personal strength, self-awareness, and cultural identity.  The project will use a restorative approach and will be gender and culturally responsive.   In collaboration with local community partners working with at-risk youth, Coverdale will respond to the inequities that impact Black and Indigenous girls and provide services that meet them where they are, focusing on community care, prevention, early intervention, and culturally informed programming.

Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law, Nova Scotia

Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law, is receiving $499,963 over 3 years from 2019 to 2022.

The organization received funding under the Justice Partnership and Innovation Program. It will work collaboratively with levels of government and other stakeholders to undertake identified next steps toward a robust and sustainable national strategy to accelerate the use of restorative justice across Canada. This will involve hosting a national collaborative learning conference for provincial, territorial and federal representatives; modeling an innovation incubator to support inter jurisdictional collaboration for restorative justice innovation; developing baseline success indicators for restorative justice initiatives; and developing and piloting a model for education and training curriculum for a restorative approach to justice.

Restorative Justice COVID-19 Pandemic Support

This fiscal year, the Indigenous Justice Program provided approximately $500,000 of its annual budget to address capacity issues effecting delivery of community based programming due to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. Through the Capacity Building Fund, the Indigenous Justice Program supported Indigenous community-based organizations to be able to continue the delivery of services during COVID-19 community lock down such as funding for technology-related equipment, personal protection equipment, and traditional tent sites for meetings with Elders. The Indigenous Justice Program also funded a pre-charge pilot project in Ontario which would help with closed courts and backlogs as a result of COVID-19. It is also envisioned that this project would help decrease the over-representation of Indigenous People in the justice system and increase referrals of Indigenous community-based restorative justice programs, similar to those highlighted above.

Organizations that were provided this one time funding are: 

  • ST’AT’IMC Restorative Justice (BC)
  • Fort Nelson First Nation (BC)
  • South Island Wellness Society (BC)
  • Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services Society (BC)
  • Nak’azdli Whut’en (BC)
  • Heiltsuk Tribal Council (BC)
  • Whe-la-la-U Area Council (BC)
  • Nisga’a Nation (BC)
  • STO:LO Nation (BC)
  • YEQOX Nilin Justice Society (BC)
  • Liard First Nation (YK)
  • Kwanlin Dün First Nation (YK)
  • Government of Nunavut (NU)
  • Government of Northwest Territories (NT)
  • Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement (AB)
  • Bigstone Cree Nation (AB)
  • Yellowhead Tribal Community (AB)
  • Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement (AB)
  • Blood Tribe (AB)
  • Siksika Nation (AB)
  • Gift Lake Metis Settlement (AB)
  • La Loche Friendship Centre (SK)
  • Touchwood Agency Tribal Council Inc (SK)
  • Yorkton Tribal Administration Inc. (SK)
  • Onashowewin Inc (MB)
  • Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. (MB)
  • Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc (MB)
  • St. Theresa Point First Nation (MB)
  • Fisher River Cree Nation (MB)
  • Hollow Water First Nation (MB)
  • Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corp. (ON)
  • Indian Youth Friendship Society (ON)
  • Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation (ON)
  • Ministry of Attorney General (ON)
  • Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (QC)
  • Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (QC)
  • Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw (QC)
  • The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne (QC)
  • Centre de justice des Premiers Peuples de Montréal (QC)
  • Elsipogtog First Nation Band (NB)
  • Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation (NL)
  • Miawpukek Mi’kamawey Mawi’omi (NL)
  • Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network (NS)

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