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Past, Present, Future


Past
In 1999 the seed was planted.  The PEI Indigenous Community Justice Committee, with funding from Justice Canada’s Indigenous Justice Strategy and the PEI Office of the Attorney General, began to establish a program that would increase the level of Indigenous involvement in the administration of the Canadian Justice System on the Island. Since 2001 the PEI Indigenous Community Justice Program ( ICJP) has sought to meet the needs of Indigenous people in the Canadian Justice System.  By providing support, raising awareness, and developing community capacity. 

The principles that guided the program were aimed to recognize:

  1. The contribution from Indigenous people will improve the Criminal Justice System for everyone.
  2. A holistic approach.
  3. An inclusive province-wide approach.
  4. Restorative philosophy and community development approaches.
  5. Involvement of other justice areas, especially family law.

 

These guiding principles are what we nurture and use to develop the program today.

Present
What is the Indigenous Justice Program is doing now?

The IJP, a program of the MCPEI, is working to meet the needs of Indigenous people who are involved in the justice program.  Our goal is to give Indigenous people a greater voice in the justice system.

We provide support, raise community awareness about justice issues. We increase knowledge and understanding about the justice system and help communities become more involved in making justice. We also try and reduce crime and the number of people going to jail on PEI.  We work with Law Enforcement to educate the police. We want to improve Canada’s justice system to make it more responsive to Indigenous people on PEI by working together with the justice system and personnel and legal system.

One way we are doing this is to use the Circle process. Circles are used to get to the root of the situation. They are also a way we can ensure everyone has the resources they need. Each circle is designed to work for both the justice system and the community. Circles work best when communities, police, and government work together. We can also answer your question on the IJP, provide referrals and talk to you about your situation. We provide education presentation and workshops for adult and youth on justice issues and provide early intervention for adults and youth.

We will be doing site visits with other communities to see what we can use for the betterment of our communities. 

Future
Through the activities set out the multi-year plan and this year, our main objective is to ensure that the Canadian Justice System becomes more adaptive to Indigenous People and their culture.

While working with the mainstream system the IJP will hold Justice Circles to allow communities to be actively involved in the management of the judicial process. Only by developing a formalized structure with a well-defined process, that is both reflective of, and adaptive to the traditional workings of Indigenous communities, will we be securing a foundation for the future of the IJP.

Through our efforts, the IJP will continue to develop both the technical infrastructure and the human capacity needed to build alternative justice mechanisms. The MCPEI  IJP will place PEI First Nations People on the leading edge of judicial reform and community controlled, self-administered justice.