Government of Canada supports Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre’s work with urban Indigenous youth

News release

August 13, 2019 - Kelowna, British Columbia - Department of Justice Canada

To make a positive difference in the lives of urban Indigenous youth involved with the criminal justice system, intervention and rehabilitation programs need to be culturally relevant and appropriate.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announced $418,760 over three years for the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society’s Xw-l-ale-cecemala: Kids Come to Life Program. Using a restorative justice model and a focus on culturally-based rehabilitation and reintegration, Xw-l-ale cecemala will provide services for urban Indigenous youth involved, or at risk of being involved, in the criminal justice system. Xw-l-ale-cecemala’s holistic approach allows the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society to help address the underlying causes of urban Indigenous youth’s involvement in the criminal justice system.

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is also developing a guide to educate community stakeholders about the importance of culturally-appropriate approaches to working with Indigenous youth involved in the criminal justice system, as well as delivering awareness sessions in schools on Canada’s Youth Criminal Justice Act.


“I am pleased to see this thoughtful, holistic and culture-based program to improve outcomes for urban Indigenous youth involved with the criminal justice system. Restorative justice models, such as Xw-l-ale-cecemala, help to promote safer and more vibrant communities.”

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

“Xw-i-ale cecemala is an urgently needed intervention so that our urban Indigenous youth do not fall through the cracks and become another statistic in an overrepresented system. We need them to know that they are supported and they are valued and this is not their predetermination in society. We take this seriously and look forward to this important work with our urban Indigenous youth and families.”

Edna Terbasket
Executive Director, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society

Quick facts

  • Restorative justice aims to engage families and communities to participate in the healing, reparation and reintegration of youth involved in the criminal justice system.

  • Restorative justice is based on encouraging accountability of those involved and helps to support better outcomes for victims.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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