Revitalization of Indigenous laws in Saskatoon a priority for the Government of Canada
July 8, 2021 – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – Department of Justice Canada
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, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Vice Chief Edward Lerat highlighted the Government of Canada’s support to the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) with their project that aims to revitalize Indigenous laws across First Nation communities. Support for this initiative also aligns with the Government of Canada’s response 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. 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 distinct legal institutions.
The Revitalization of Indigenous Laws project is to update the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Framework for First Nations Justice System and revitalize Indigenous Laws of First Nations. Developed in 2013, the Framework was a response to 23 separate resolutions passed by the FSIN Chiefs-in-Assembly that mandate the establishment of First Nations justice system to strengthen individuals, families, and communities through the restoration of traditional Indigenous justice. The project will include interviews with knowledge keepers and Elders across First Nation communities in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan to gain greater insight into Indigenous laws, practices and processes.
The Department of Justice is providing funding for $489,486 over three years through its Justice Partnership and Innovation Program. This program supports activities that respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy.
“Together, the FSIN works diligently with other First Nations leaders to describe both the historical context and experience of an inherent and traditional Indigenous justice system. It is important to intergrade traditional justice practices with today’s society and is part of Reconciliation.”
Vice Chief Edward Lerat
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
“The Government will walk the shared path of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and remain focused on implementing the commitments regarding CTA 50. I am pleased to support the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations project that will help increase communities’ understanding and knowledge of Indigenous laws. The funding we are announcing today will add to our reconciliation efforts to support Indigenous communities and organizations as they work to revitalize their legal traditions.”
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 are confident that this funding will help make a real difference for Indigenous communities doing the important work of revitalizing their legal systems.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
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.
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.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act received Royal Assent and came into force in Canada on June 21, 2021. Developed with Indigenous peoples, this Act creates a legislative framework to implement the Declaration in Canada. It requires the Government of Canada, in consultation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples, to take all measures necessary to align federal laws with the Declaration, develop an action plan to achieve the Declaration’s objectives and report annually to Parliament on the progress to align laws and the action plan.
- Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations
- Revitalization of Indigenous laws at centre of Government of Canada funding
- Justice Partnership and Innovation Program
- Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada
- Indigenous Justice, Recognition and Reconciliation
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Department of Justice Canada
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