Aboriginal Justice Strategy
The AJS is part of the federal government’s response to justice inquiries across the country that have called for the development of sustainable justice policies and programs that better meet the needs of Aboriginal people and that address their over-representation in the justice system. In collaboration with provincial and territorial partners, the AJS focuses on increasing opportunities for, and building the capacity of, Aboriginal communities to participate meaningfully in the administration of justice.
In 2005-06, the AJD made the largest funding commitment to community-based programs in its history, and it worked to ensure that all AJS funds available to communities were distributed. Also, a strong start was made on improving outreach and partnership activities. The AJD continued to promote Aboriginal justice as a key policy priority and to provide legal advice to self-government negotiation tables.
The mid-term evaluation identified that the success of the AJS has moved beyond its stated objectives to include: healing in communities; improvements to individual lives; reconnection of young people with their communities; better understanding of victim issues; and increased recognition in the mainstream justice system of Aboriginal culture and alternative community programs. The case studies and recidivism projects, initiated in 2005 and expected to be completed in 2006, will help assess whether the AJS has contributed to reduced rates of crime, victimization and incarceration among Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.
In the final year of the current AJS mandate, the AJD will continue to engage in a broad range of activities to achieve the goals of the Strategy and the Directorate. As the second mandate of the AJS comes to an end, it will be important to measure and demonstrate the merits of the Strategy and the progress that has been made towards goals. In 2006-07, the AJD will:
- continue to develop and support community-based justice programs, training and development initiatives and self-government capacity-building projects;
- provide legal advice on the administration of justice related to self-government negotiations and agreements;
- strengthen existing partnership agreements and pursue new opportunities;
- engage in evaluation activities to demonstrate results; and
- identify ways to make meaningful progress on Aboriginal justice issues.
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