Frequently Asked Questions

This webpage contains answers to frequently asked questions on the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy.

For additional questions, please contact ijs-sja@justice.gc.ca. Media enquiries must be submitted to media@justice.gc.ca.

  • How will Justice Canada ensure that all Indigenous identity groups and distinctions can contribute to the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy?

    Engagement on the Indigenous Justice Strategy is intended to be broad and inclusive and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada to participate in decision-making that could impact them and their communities.

    The Indigenous Justice Strategy engagement approach places Indigenous perspectives and input at the heart of the work. Ongoing consultation and cooperation with Indigenous partners will ensure that the strategy is reflective of the priorities and needs of Indigenous groups across the country.

    In addition to Indigenous-led engagement, Justice Canada is leading engagement with Indigenous partners, as well as with provinces and territories and justice practitioners. Specifically, Justice Canada is collaborating with First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights holders, including modern treaty signatories, self-governing nations and historic treaty partners, as well as with national and regional Indigenous representative organizations and justice practitioners. Engagement will also include Indigenous women, youth, elders, persons with disabilities, 2SLGBTQI+ persons as well as urban Indigenous peoples.

  • What will the Indigenous Justice Strategy contain?

    Indigenous-led engagement and Justice Canada-led engagement will both inform the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy. These processes will identify legislative, program, and policy initiatives needed to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people and systemic discrimination in the Canadian justice system.

    The specific contents of the Indigenous Justice Strategy are still to be determined. However, the strategy will respond to a number of Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls that relate to addressing systemic discrimination and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the Canadian justice system, both as victims and offenders.

    The pre-engagement sessions with National Indigenous Organizations, including Indigenous women’s organizations, provided insight into what could be included in this strategy, such as concrete measures in areas of crime prevention, policing and diversion, courts, corrections, and reintegration. Partners also emphasized the importance of crime prevention, restorative and Indigenous justice approaches, supporting the revitalization of Indigenous justice systems and legal traditions, self-determination in the administration of justice and Criminal Code reforms.

    We look forward to seeing the results of all these engagement efforts to develop, in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples and provinces and territories, an Indigenous Justice Strategy that reflects the needs and is informed by the experiences of Indigenous peoples across Canada.

  • How will the Indigenous Justice Strategy interact with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and its related action plan?

    The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan was released on June 21, 2023, and includes multiple commitments and Action Plan Measures to address systemic discrimination and the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system.

    Shared Priority Action Plan Measure 28 (in Chapter 1: Shared Priorities) identifies Justice Canada, Public Safety Canada, and various departments as leads to increase access to justice for Indigenous peoples, strengthen communities and advance self-determination by:

    • Finalizing an Indigenous Justice Strategy
    • Providing on-going support for community-led work and initiatives related to revitalization and enforcement of Indigenous laws and legal orders

    Shared Priorities Action Plan Measure 60 also identifies commitments by the Correctional Service of Canada in relation to reducing disproportionate Indigenous population in correctional facilities through consultation, education, funding and cooperation for policing and restorative justice initiatives, expanding Healing Lodge capacity and other initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for Indigenous offenders.

    The implementation of these Action Plan measures needs to be undertaken in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples. Implementation progress will be reported through the annual reports tabled in Parliament, as stipulated in the UN Declaration Act.

  • In what way are provinces and territories involved in the development and implementation of the Indigenous Justice Strategy?

    Provinces and territories play an important role in the administration of justice in Canada. Collaboration with provinces and territories in the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy will be critical to its success.

    Provinces and territories have been invited to participate in the Justice Canada-led engagement sessions with Indigenous partners and other key stakeholders. Discussions on the Indigenous Justice Strategy and other ongoing measures to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system will also continue at federal, provincial and territorial meetings, including meetings with National Indigenous Organizations.

    The Indigenous Justice Strategy will also leverage past work done by federal, provincial and territorial officials that aimed to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous youth and adults in the justice system.

    We look forward to continuing to find ways that federal, provincial and territorial governments can work together, alongside Indigenous partners and other key stakeholders, in supporting the development and implementation of the Indigenous Justice Strategy.

  • How will Justice Canada report on engagement?

    Justice Canada will provide ongoing updates on Justice Canada-led engagement sessions on the Reports webpage.

    The 38 partners leading Indigenous-led engagement processes will inform Justice Canada of the results of their consultations by December 2023. These Reports will also inform the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy.

  • When will the Indigenous Justice Strategy be released?

    The release of the Indigenous Justice Strategy can only occur once the Indigenous-led engagement and Justice Canada-led engagement efforts are concluded, in 2024.

    We look forward to seeing the results of these engagement efforts to inform next steps in the development of the Indigenous Justice Strategy.