After approximately 2 years of planning, an Indigenous Court (also known as a First Nations Court) was established in the Nicola Valley in October 2017. An Indigenous Court is a sentencing court where local Elders sit together with a Judge to provide a holistic and restorative perspective and develop a healing plan for the offender as part of his or her sentence.
Through a Law Foundation project grant in 2016, NVCJSS worked with the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the Legal Services Society of BC to develop curriculum for Elders interested in sitting on Indigenous Courts throughout the Province. That curriculum has been used to provide orientation/training for over 70 Elders and others from Duncan, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Kamloops, the Nicola Valley and the Cariboo/Chilcotin. It was also used in a 3-day session in Prince George in October 2018 for Elders from Kamloops, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Prince George, Hazelton, and the Nicola Valley.
The Nicola Valley Indigenous Court (the “Court”) began sitting on October 25, 2017 and continues to sit monthly. 9 different Elders have sat on the Court to date and there are 6 more who have completed the orientation/training and are awaiting approval through a selection process.
Through a grant from Public Safety Canada, the Nicola Valley Indigenous Court has a 0.8 FTE liaison worker to assist clients of the Court to connect with services to successfully complete their healing plans.
Is Indigenous court the right choice for you? Read more about it here.
Nicola Valley Indigenous Court Program: Roberta Moses, Liaison Worker. 250-280-8642. 2090 Coutlee Ave., Merritt BC. (Hours- 8:30 to 4:30 Mon-Thurs)