SPIRITWOOD, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - March 17, 2015) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desnethé - Missinippi - Churchill River, on behalf of the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced $147,734 in funding over two years for the Agency Chiefs Tribal Council Community Justice Program. The program supports the development and delivery of alternative justice measures for both youth and adults in Big River, Pelican Lake, and Witchekan Lake First Nations communities. These measures include traditional sentencing circles and healing programs, as well as a range of crime prevention, victim services and education activities.

The funding was provided as part of the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, through which the 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.

As part of Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government had committed to invest in the Aboriginal Justice Strategy by providing $22.2 million over two years. 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.

Quick Facts

  • 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; and

    • 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 a fair and efficient justice system.

  • Because of the role Aboriginal Justice Strategy programs have in holding offenders accountable, the Strategy was 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 and Girls, announced on September 15, 2014.


"Many Aboriginal Canadians face tangible difficulties in the mainstream justice system. Programs like the Agency Chiefs Tribal Council Community Justice Program help address these challenges, and our Government is proud to support these important efforts."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"I am pleased that the Government of Canada can support a program which brings culturally appropriate access to the justice system to communities here in rural Saskatchewan. Our Government will continue to get behind community-based organizations which help keep their members safe."

Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament Desnethé - Missinippi - Churchill River

Related Documents:

Backgrounder: Agency Chiefs Tribal Council Community Justice Program

Associated Links

Aboriginal Justice Strategy

Community-Based Justice Fund

Capacity-Building Fund

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Agency Chiefs Tribal Council Community Justice Program

Agency Chiefs Tribal Council (ACTC) is situated in Treaty 6 Territory and consists of three First Nations: Big River, Pelican Lake and Witchekan Lake. Since 1998, the ACTC Community Justice Program, funded by the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, has provided culturally relevant programming to each of the three member First Nations communities. This includes alternative measures programs for adults, extra-judicial measures for youth, and public education and crime prevention initiatives.

The program uses a restorative approach to diverting offenders away from the mainstream justice system to more culturally appropriate community-based alternatives, where appropriate. Through this process the community has the opportunity to work collaboratively to address the effects of the crime, to repair the harm, address some of the root causes of the crime and, ultimately, to improve community safety and wellness. Diverting offenders away from the mainstream justice system is a discretionary tool used by police and prosecutors, with the consent of communities, for offences they view as more appropriate for out-of-court resolution. Generally speaking, this involves lesser offences.

For all of these initiatives, the ACTC Community Program staff work in close partnership with elders, community justice committees and other agencies as necessary to provide relevant and meaningful community justice services. Other agencies the Program engages in its work include the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, Social Development, Fine Options, Courtworkers and Health Services.

Through the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the Government will provide the Agency Chiefs Tribal Council Community Justice Program with $147,734 over two years; $73,867 in fiscal year 2014-2015 and $73,867 in fiscal year 2015-2016.

Contact Information:

Clarissa Lamb
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice