This sector embodies a number of topics and activities ranging from the over-representation of First Nations in the Canadian justice system, the review of legislative initiatives, to the study of alternative approaches to justice and healing. The principle objective of our work is to provide First Nations with a voice in regards to the correctional issues that affect them.
With that in mind, the Chiefs of Ontario has engaged in direct dialogue with the government of Ontario through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) and the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG). The rationale for doing so is to i) increase our capacity to participate in correctional/justice policy issues; ii) ensure our participation in meetings and policy development; iii) to advance First Nation inherent and Treaty rights pertaining to justice and corrections; and iv) to help shape the parameters and outcome of the Ontario Aboriginal Justice Strategy.
Ultimately, through collaboration with the relevant governmental departments and agencies the aim is to reverse the overrepresentation of First Nations in the Canadian justice system while making it more flexible for First Nation communities to access funds, develop programs, and provide services for First Nation citizens.
As part of its evolving mandate, the Justice and Correctional Policy area at the Chiefs of Ontario is to examine existing government legislation and further, to advocate on behalf of First Nations interests. Some of what we cover includes issues pertaining to:
- Enhancing First Nation Police Services
- Police relations
- Diversion programs
- Gladue provisions
- Culturally appropriate programs in correctional facilities
- Reintegration programs
- Lifestyle choices