Edmonton Native Youth Justice Committee

The Cause

The Edmonton Native Youth Justice Committee is a project that includes involvement from several organizations and volunteers dedicated to working restoratively with Aboriginal Youth that are Justice involved. Edmonton Native Youth Justice Committee will train volunteers regarding the specific needs of Aboriginal youth and will work with volunteers in order to accept referrals from youth court for extrajudicial sanctions and s. 19 (i.e. sentencing circles). Volunteers will facilitate circles and mentor youth to assist in completing their extrajudicial sanctions agreements as well as providing reports to court as requested for the purposes of assisting with sentencing recommendations.

This committee has been developed by Native Counselling Services of Alberta in conjunction with Crown Prosecutor Office, Youth Criminal Defence Office, the support of Youth Court Provincial Judge Holmstrom, Edmonton Police Service and other community agencies whose staff act as volunteers on the committee as well as community members generally. NCSA\'s mission is to promote the resilience of the Aboriginal individual and family, through programs and services that are grounded in reclaiming our interconnectedness, reconciliation of relationships and self-determination.

Who Will it Benefit?

Restorative justice principles that the committee aims to address are the following: repairing the harm to self, victim and community; community interconnectedness; accountability; healing and personal growth; and reconciliation and restoration of interpersonal relationships. The aim is to utilize a holistic approach looking at the aspects of the medicine wheel (mental, physical, emotional and spiritual). Throughout this process it is hoped that the youth can make connections to Elders and mentors in the community and participate in traditional ceremonies such as sweat lodge, pipe ceremonies and round dances, etc. At this time, there are no other committees in the City of Edmonton who specifically address the unique needs of Aboriginal youth.