The IFNA Justice program facilitates two projects for IFNA communities including the Revitalization of Indigenous Legal Systems (RILS) and Oshkaadizuk Mino-biimadizowin – Youth Justice Program. Both programs are about having open and honest discussions to promote enhanced control over community healing and wellness. It is important that these discussions be led by IFNA to ensure that the overall approach is mindful and respectful of community circumstances and that all information shared is culturally appropriate.
The goal and the hope of the RILS is to help develop an understanding of the functions and beliefs that underlie in traditional laws that were used prior to arrival of the settlers. Consulting with traditional thinkers, traditional knowledge keepers on the past practices in bringing issues of community concerns to a good resolve is of the utmost importance.
The Oshkaadizuk Mino-biimadizowin – Youth Justice Program is dedicated to helping Indigenous youth heal from historic trauma and abuses that are a result of colonialism and the process of colonialization.
The purpose of the RILS project is to develop an academic/legal review, and a development of a working arbitration model for IFNA First Nations disputes on First Nation law; which would by-pass traditional court processes. As part of this project, the Justice program staff will be conducting in-community visits, meetings and workshops.
The purpose of the proposed project is to undertake a youth IFNA education campaign which will provide information about the justice system, encourage dialogue between IFNA community leadership, elders and youth. Some areas of focus will include:
- Options for culturally relevant land-based programming for IFNA youth focused on education and prevention;
- The development of culturally relevant public information and harm reduction materials;
- Preliminary discussions on respective IFNA First Nations’ interest in community specific approaches for off and on-reserve youth justice programs;
- Preliminary discussion on IFNA First Nations’ interests in development of First Nations by-laws;
- Issues unique to by-law enforcement in IFNA First Nations communities in a manner that both respects First Nation culture while moving toward a restorative justice approach;
- Community school visits to promote awareness about the importance of the (7) seven grandfather teachings; Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility and Truth.
Oshkaadizuk Minobiimadizowin emphasizes building on the strength of the individual, the family and the community to ensure a strong basis of support for Indigenous people as they journey toward a life free of abusive and destructive behaviors. A variety of conventional and customary treatment strategies will be employed allowing for the uniqueness of each person and their need to make fundamental choices concerning their future life path as they make connections between their Mind, Body and Spirit.