Canada and Red Earth Cree Nation sign Memorandum of Understanding to advance discussions on administration of justice

News release

April 5, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Justice Canada | Red Earth Cree Nation

The Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, partnership and cooperation. Working with Indigenous groups toward assuming greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities is part of this commitment. 

Today, the Government of Canada and Red Earth Cree Nation announced they have signed a co-developed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance discussions toward developing a stand-alone administration of justice agreement. This MOU on Advancing Reconciliation will guide future exploratory discussions on the administration of justice needs and aspirations of Red Earth Cree Nation.

An administration of justice agreement could outline in practical and meaningful ways how an Indigenous community assumes control for the management of justice. For example, discussion could focus on the enforcement and adjudication of Red Earth Cree’s laws, as well as how they relate to federal and provincial laws.

These exploratory discussions demonstrate action taken in partnership to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 42 on the recognition and implementation of Indigenous justice systems. 


“By working in partnership with Red Earth Cree Nation to develop this stand-alone agreement, we are taking a meaningful approach to section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. This work flows from Canada’s constitutional and legal frameworks and represents a first step in building a nation-to-nation relationship that recognizes and implements Indigenous systems of justice.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step to advance reconciliation with Red Earth Cree Nation. Through these talks, we will continue to move forward together to support the First Nation’s vision of self-determination and make progress on their priorities for the benefit of the community.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations 

“This Memorandum of Understanding marks the start of a historic discussion process with Red Earth Cree Nation. We look forward to continuing to work with them in a spirit of mutual respect and co-operation on shared priorities to advance reconciliation and improve the wellbeing of the community.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services Canada

“We share a common vision with other First Nations, across this land, for only the good for our people and communities, including a community free of crime. We are committed to support and build on our own Red Earth Cree Nation Justice System that is rooted and grounded in the legal tradition, custom and systems of our people. Today we are taking a major step to engage with Canada to make that happen.”

Chief Ina Whitehead
Red Earth Cree Nation

“For the longest time, whenever the word ‘justice’ was used or heard, many of us would automatically think of court, RCMP, violence and jail. More and more, of our members are now starting to understand that ‘justice’ can also mean a Red Earth Cree Nation Justice System that will bring about change for a better, stronger and healthier community.”

Councillor Charlene Head
Red Earth Cree Nation

Quick facts

  • Red Earth Cree Nation is a signatory to Treaty 5 and is located in Saskatchewan, 350 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

  • The Government of Canada is working with Indigenous communities at over 75 discussion tables across the country to explore new ways of working together to advance the recognition of Indigenous rights and self-determination.

  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Call to Action 42 calls upon the federal, provincial, and territorial governments to commit to the recognition and implementation of Indigenous justice systems in a manner consistent with the Treaty and Aboriginal rights of Aboriginal peoples, the Constitution Act, 1982, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Célia Canon
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Justice

Charles Whitecap
Red Earth Cree Nation

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

Search for related information by keyword: Law | Department of Justice Canada | Canada | Justice | general public | news releases

Page details

Date modified: