Indigenous Justice – Part 2

Reindeer in the delta

 

Is putting people in jail the best way to enforce the law?  The fact that the NWT and Nunavut have the highest crime rates in Canada, followed by Yukon, suggest that there is something the justice system is missing.

 

I have worked in almost every community in Nunavut and the NWT.  Again and again I meet people to whom “justice” is being delivered who see it as something that is being imposed upon the community and not even close to being an institutional expression of shared values (as it is accepted to be in the south).  For them it seems like a bunch of southerners are introducing rules and punishments that are simply not part of local culture.

 

Maybe an alternative is restorative justice.  Here is the English Summary of a Circle Healing restorative justice proposal I prepared.  Unfortunately, it went nowhere because government of Nunavut was not prepared to support the initiative.