The Government of Canada is committed to walking the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and remains focused on renewing this relationship. This includes protecting Indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination, supporting the revitalization of Indigenous legal systems and traditions, as well as acknowledging the integral role that Indigenous communities and organizations play in the development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws.
Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, joined by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced the Government of Canada’s support for 21 projects that respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Call to Action 50.
Call to Action 50 calls upon the federal government to collaborate with Indigenous organizations to fund Indigenous law institutes for the development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
These projects are intended to foster positive impacts for Indigenous communities and provide support to renew legal relationships with Indigenous peoples in Canada. Indigenous peoples from coast-to-coast-to-coast have unique cultures and traditions. The revitalization of Indigenous legal systems is key in advancing reconciliation and supporting self-determination. These projects will be led by or delivered in partnership with Indigenous organizations and will support the development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice.
Following a call for proposals, the Department is providing funding for a total of $9.5 million for 21 projects through its Justice Partnership and Innovation Program. This funding will help First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy by supporting the revitalization of Indigenous law in all regions of Canada.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on the federal government to work in collaboration with Indigenous organizations to support the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws in Canada. These investments will help to make a real difference for Indigenous communities doing the sometimes challenging but important work of revitalizing their legal systems. Our Government supports the revitalization of Indigenous law in all regions of Canada. We will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous peoples to better understand and apply Indigenous laws to strengthen communities and increase access to justice.”
The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
“Indigenous Peoples in Canada have unique laws and legal traditions. We recognize that our current legal system needs to expand and be revitalized in order to provide a greater representation of Indigenous legal practices. These 21 projects centered around Call to Action 50 will bring about much-needed change and help to amplify the Indigenous voice within Canada’s Justice system. This is just one of the many ways the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“Canada’s law and legal institutions will be strengthened by the inclusion of First Nations, Inuit and Metis knowledge and legal principles. The funding announced today will support Indigenous law institutes, responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 50. This also aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These 21 projects will have an important impact on communities as they support the development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws. Commitments and collaborations like these are increasing access to justice for Indigenous Peoples, which is critical to advancing reconciliation and supporting self-determination.”
The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada responded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 50 by announcing $10 million over five years in support of Indigenous law initiatives across Canada.
Supporting Call to Action 50 aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which sets out the right of Indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their distict legal institutions.
To strengthen community-based justice systems and support self-determination, the 2020 Fall Economic Statement also proposed investments to support the development of Administration of Justice Agreements with Indigenous communities.
Through the release of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada announced investments of $18 million over 5 years, and $4 million ongoing to revive the Law Commission of Canada to support, among other things, the work to address systemic barriers in the justice system, including barriers to justice faced by Indigenous peoples.