Government of Canada announces funding for Aboriginal Justice Program in Alberta
John Barlow, Member of Parliament for Macleod, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced yesterday $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 through 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.
• 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.
“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.”
Member of Parliament for Macleod
Aboriginal Justice Strategy
Community-Based Justice Fund