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First Nations Regional Engagement Session (Vernon)
July 4 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
The British Columbia First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) is pleased to invite you to a First Nations Regional Justice Forum to be held July, 4 2019, Prestige Lodge, Vernon.
The BCFNJC – formerly the British Columbia Aboriginal Justice Council – was formed in 2015 through resolutions made by the First Nations Summit (FNS), the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), and the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN). In September 2017, the Council, the Attorney General, and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of jointly developing a provincial Indigenous Justice Strategy, reflecting the following key priorities:
- Reconciliation with Indigenous people.
- Decreasing the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system.
- Improving the experience of Indigenous people within the justice system.
- Addressing violence against Indigenous people, especially women and girls.
- Engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations in a respectful and culturally appropriate manner.
- Improved access to justice services by Indigenous people.
- Designing services that provide Indigenous people with culturally relevant, flexible and user-focused processes.
Towards a First Nations Justice Strategy: Provincial and Regional Justice Forums
To advance the development of a First Nations Justice Strategy, and building from the wisdom provided in prior reports, recommendations, and recent engagements, in 2019 the BCFNJC is engaging in consultation with First Nations leaders, communities, justice experts, and service providers. In April, the Council held a First Nations Provincial Justice Forum to discuss opportunities for transformative change. Building on the Provincial Forum, in June and July the BCFNJC is holding four Regional Forums in Nanaimo, Prince George, Chilliwack and Vernon to share and gather insights directly from communities for the purpose of further informing the provincial First Nations Justice Strategy development.
Regional Justice Forum Objectives
The objectives of the four Regional Justice Forums are:
- to review progress to date on the joint work of the First Nations Justice Council and the Province to develop a First Nations Justice Strategy;
- to solicit input from First Nations communities and service providers on key issues and questions to be addressed in the First Nations Justice Strategy;
- to communicate the process to be followed to complete the Strategy by September 2019, including the Regional Justice Forums, dissemination of drafts and updates, additional opportunities for written input from Nations, and timelines for presentations and resolutions at the BCAFN, FNS, and UBCIC, and timelines for presentations, consultation and receipt of input from the Province; and
- to provide updates and answer questions about related BCFNJC/Province initiatives that have been on-going (e.g. Gladue implementation; Indigenous Justice Centres).
Each Regional Justice Forum will be a one-day working session with a focus on providing delegates opportunities to provide input on critical topics and themes. The agenda will include a mix of plenary and facilitated break-out sessions on specific topics integral to a First Nations Justice Strategy.
The facilitated break-out sessions will be based on dialogue with community and organizational representatives, not on formal presentations. Attendees will be asked key questions for discussion, which will occur in small facilitated groups. Two plenary sessions will be utilized, one at the beginning of the day to set the political and legal landscape and review the broad themes of a First Nations Justice Strategy, and a second at the conclusion of the day to synthesize the feedback from the participants and confirm themes and work going forward.
A travel subsidy will be available to those attending the Forum. Information about the subsidy and regarding hotel accommodation can be found on the registration page. Should you have any questions, please email the Regional Forum organizing team at BCFNJC@gov.bc.ca, or call (778) 698-4834 .
On behalf of the membership of the BC First Nations Justice Council, I sincerely look forward to your participation in Vernon on July 4th.
Douglas White III Kwulasultun
Chair, BC First Nations Justice Council