Indigenous People’s Justice- Reconciliation and Capacity Building

Hosted by the Department of Justice and Corrections of the Cree Nation Government, the Indigenous Peoples' Justice gathering is a historic achievement, bringing together leaders in Indigenous Justice from across North America and the globe.

Dr. Wilton Littlechild keynote address
Senator Kim Pate, Member of the Standing Committee on Aboriginal Rights

On December 4-6, 2018 the Department of Justice and Correctional Services hosted their first ever Indigenous People’s Justice Conference: Reconciliation and Capacity Building in Gatineau, QC. The event provided a unique and historic platform for leaders in Indigenous justice from across the globe to speak about core issues surrounding the conference’s theme. Among the 330 participants in attendance was a wealth of knowledge and perspective including Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum, former Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Dr. Wilton Littlechild, the Minister of Indigenous Affairs the Hounourable Carolyn Bennett and Northern Arizona University Professor Dr. Manley Begay from the Navajo Nation.

The conference offered a mix of keynote, plenary and concurrent workshop sessions, led or facilitated by an exceptional array of renowned Canadian and international leaders, researchers, dignitaries and justice experts, in addition to members of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services team leading workshops throughout the three days. In an ambitious and unique approach, the conference attempted to build dialogue and understanding around many issues within Indigenous justice including:

  1. Educate, bring awareness to, and orient participants and general public in Indigenous
    justice and related issues;
  2. Create an enhanced dialogue between participants on issues including but not limited
    to Indigenous justice, corrections, child welfare, crime prevention, conflict resolution,
    human rights, and more;
  3. Stimulate a greater discourse within the Cree Nation, Quebec and Canada.
  4. Fulfill some of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, in respect to
    justice, human rights, education and awareness on Indigenous issues and peoples;
  5. Resulting from participation of Canadian and international speakers, leaders and
    delegates, facilitate knowledge mobilization and transference opportunities to and
    from DOJCS staff on emerging best and promising practices in Indigenous Justice;
  6. Implement various provisions under the JBNQA and other agreements in relation to the
    training, education and awareness of personnel working in Cree justice system;

Within these objectives, active dialogue on issues of early child development, lateral violence, and justice within remote communities were considered through the diverse perspectives of the conference attendees. These included members of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, Quebec Native Women, and a number of First Nations, as well as post secondary students.

Grand Chief Dr. Abel Bosum  – Keynote Address

10 Year Anniversary of the Department of Justice and Correctional Services

Portrait of Donald Nichols, Carolyn Bennet and Bill Namagoose
Donald Nicholls, The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, and Bill Namagoose

Just over a decade ago – when the Department of Justice and Correctional Services was created – they started down the path of establishing an Indigenous justice system that reflects Cree values, culture and way of life. This is unique in Canada and rarely seen elsewhere in the world.

To celebrate the achievements of the last decade and to thank those who have accompanied us on this path forward, the Department of Justice and Correctional Services of the Cree Nation Government hosted a reception on December 5, 2018 in the presence of:

Dr. Abel Bosum, Grand Chief of the Cree Nation,
Mr. Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations,
Mr. Romeo Saganash, M.P., Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou

Other federal and provincial dignitaries joined in celebrating in the Cree fashion.

On behalf of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Nation Government we would like to congratulate the Department of Justice and Correctional Services on their 10 years of service to the people of Eeyou Istchee and for the extraordinary achievement of organizing this first Indigenous People’s Justice Conference.