Dismantling systemic racism and discrimination from our justice system and revitalizing Indigenous legal traditions will benefit everyone in Canada. A justice system that improves public safety and community well-being while addressing the challenges faced by Indigenous peoples is something that all Canadians can be proud to support.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, the Honourable David Eby, Attorney General of British Columbia, the Honourable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Sollicitor General of British Columbia, and Doug White, Chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC), met for their first annual Tripartite Ministers’ Meeting under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canada, British Columbia and the BCFNJC.
Through this MOU, announced in January 2022, the governments of Canada and British Columbia and the BCFNJC committed to collaborate on advancing shared priorities relating to Indigenous justice, including addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system, and enhancing restorative justice and First Nations-led community justice programs.
Today’s in-person meeting provided an opportunity to deepen the relationship between Canada, British Columbia and the BCFNJC, while providing space for the parties to set priorities for the coming year. During the meeting, the BCFNJC raised several priorities to advance work on their First Nations Justice Strategy.
In March 2020, the Province of British Columbia and the BCFNJC launched their First Nations Justice Strategy as part of an ongoing shared commitment to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in BC’s justice system.
The meeting was also an opportunity to discuss future investments to advance Indigenous justice priorities in British Columbia and in Canada, such as the implementation of Gladue principles and the development of an Indigenous Justice Strategy to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system across Canada.
The partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and the BCFNJC will enable meaningful transformation within the justice system and supports the recognition and implementation of Indigenous justice systems in British Columbia.