The History of the NVCJSS

The Nicola Valley Community Justice Service Society has provided family and criminal law, dispute resolution and anti-poverty advocacy in the Nicola Valley as far back as the 1970’s.

  •  1970’s: Merritt Legal Services opens a LSS (legal aid) Native Community Law Office.
  •   2002: Due to wide government cutbacks, Merritt Legal Services and Merritt Court Registry closed.
  •  2003: Through volunteers, hard-work and effort to get funding, the Nicola Valley Family Justice Services Society was formed and operated two programs; The Family Justice Program and the Nicola Valley Advocacy Centre.
  • 2005: The Family Justice program was cancelled and the Aboriginal Restorative Justice Program took its place.
  • 2006: The Nicola Valley Family Justice Services Society was renamed Nicola Valley Community Justice Services Society (NVCJSS)
  • 2017: After two years of planning, the NVCJSS established an Indigenous (First Nations) Court in Merritt and began the Indigenous Court Navigator Program.
  • 2019: After much collaboration between the NVCJSS and the First Nations Justice Council, the Nicola Valley was selected to be the location of an Indigenous Justice Centre.
  • 2020: The Indigenous Justice Centre began operating in the Nicola Valley and is overseen by a supervising lawyer and two community outreach workers. Additionally, the Nicola Valley Aboriginal Community Justice Program was renamed to the Nicola Valley Restorative Justice Program.
  • 2022: The administration of the Indigenous Justice Centre was reassumed by the BC First Nations Justice Council and operates as an ally for the NVCJSS.
  • 2022: The Family Justice and Mediation Services Program was established.