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Welcome

Do you identify yourself as an Aboriginal person? Do you help people who do?

This section has:

We're committed to increasing awareness of unique Aboriginal legal rights and supporting the strengths of Aboriginal cultures and communities.

If you want information about applying for legal aid, see How to apply for legal aid or call the LSS Call Centre.

Important information regarding the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement: The deadlines to apply to the Common Experience Payment and the Independent Assessment Process have passed. If you attended an eligible Indian residential school, you may still have options. If you haven't already done so, talk to a lawyer to find out what your options are. You can find a lawyer through the settlement agreement list or the Lawyer Referral Service. Or call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The society can also give you information and emotional support.

For more information, click the Indian Residential Schools Settlement button below.

Click the images below for more information on this and other issues.

Deadlines
Upcoming events
Training opportunities
Resources

Deadlines

Deadline to submit your Personal Credits Acknowledgment Form is October 31, 2014

Indian residential school survivors who got a Common Experience Payment are eligible for Personal Credits of up to $3,000. These credits can be used for a variety of educational purposes. In order to use your Personal Credits, you must submit your Personal Credits Acknowledgement Form by October 31, 2014.

To request a form, or for help with filling out your form call 1-866-343-1858. If you're hard of hearing, call 1-877-627-7027 (TTY).

For more information, see the Indian Residential Schools Settlement — Official Court Website.

Deadline to submit your Personal Credits Redemption Form is December 1, 2014

Once your Personal Credits Acknowledgement Form has been processed, you will receive a Personal Credits Redemption Form. This form must be post marked no later than December 1, 2014.

To request a form, or for help with filling out your form call 1-866-343-1858. If you're hard of hearing, call 1-877-627-7027 (TTY).

For more information, see the Indian Residential Schools Settlement — Official Court Website.

Update — Mistassini Hostels

If you attended the Mistassini Hostels in northern Québec, the deadline to apply for compensation under the Independent Assessment Process was extended to September 2, 2013.

For more information, see our Indian Residential Schools Settlement page. Or see the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat's information sheet.

Update — Independent Assessment Process deadline

The deadline for Independent Assessment Process (IAP) applications has passed.

If you experienced sexual abuse or serious physical abuse at an Indian residential school and you have not yet contacted a lawyer, call a lawyer on the settlement agreement list to find out what your options are. Or call the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The society can also provide information and emotional support.

For more information, click the Indian Residential Schools Settlement button below, and see the updated government fact sheet.

Update — Common Experience Payment (CEP) deadline

The deadline for the Common Experience Payment (CEP) has passed.

See the updated government fact sheet about CEP payments and the possibility of making a late application.

Upcoming events

Invitation to FNSA Indigenous Feminism Series — SFU Harbour Centre — April 16, 2014

Cherry Smiley, from the Nlaka'pamux (Thomson) and Dine' (Navajo) Nations and co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry, will be speaking at SFU Harbour Centre on April 16, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

See the SFU website for more information or to register.

Did you participate in First Nations Court in New Westminster? UBC researchers would like to hear from you

An Aboriginal research team at UBC is doing a study of First Nations Court in New Westminster. They would like to hear from you if you were involved in this First Nations Court between November 1, 2006 and June 30, 2013 as:

  • an adult or youth Aboriginal offender;
  • a family member, client, or victim of an Aboriginal offender; or
  • as a volunteer for a First Nations, Métis, Inuit, or mainstream Canadian justice, social service, education, employment, or health-related organization.

For more information, see their flyer. Or contact the UBC School of Social Work research assistant:
Email:firstnationscourtresearch@gmail.com
Phone: 604-827-2485.

Any information you give the research team will be kept confidential.

Training opportunities

Gladue report writing

Are you interested in learning how to write Gladue reports? The Justice Institute of BC provides training, and their next course starts January 7, 2014.

For more information, see the course description. Or contact
Tami Pierce Coordinator, Centre for Aboriginal Programs & Services:
Email: tpierce@jibc.ca
Phone: 604-528-5608 (Greater Vancouver)

Resources

For CEP recipients: Personal Credits for education services

The Assembly of First Nations has developed a document to help you find out more about the Personal Credits that are available to people who received a Common Experience Payment. These credits can be used for personal or group education services.

First Nations Court opens in Duncan, duty counsel available

Duncan has opened its own First Nations Court. Duty counsel will be available to Aboriginal people with criminal matters at the monthly sittings. The duty counsel will provide free legal advice, along with other services such as referrals to legal counsel (and other legal help) and Gladue reports.

First Nations Court open in Kamloops, duty counsel available

Kamloops now has its own First Nations Court, which opened in March 2013. The court sits once a month and is available to all Aboriginal people. Duty counsel is available. Find out more from the Cknúcwentn First Nations Court flyer.

You can find out more about how First Nations Court works and the other First Nations Courts in New Westminster and Duncan on the First Nations Court page.

Legal Aid family advice clinic — Williams Lake area

We are offering free family advice clinics for Aboriginal people and families in the Williams Lake area. The clinics offer experienced legal advice and help on family, child protection, custody and access, and other issues. Attend by appointment or drop-in.

To make an appointment or for more information, call 604-681-8021.

Health, Crime, and Doing Time — Ministry of Health report

The Ministry of Health's report, Health, Crime, and Doing Time: Potential Impacts of the Safe Streets and Communities Act on the Health and Well-being of Aboriginal People in BC, explores the potential impact of the Act on Aboriginal people in BC. Includes a discussion on the relationship between poor health and involvement in crime and the rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people.

The Provincial Health Officer's presentation summarizes the report.

Aboriginal people in the justice system — Toronto Star article

Unequal justice: Aboriginal and black inmates disproportionately fill Ontario jails — This article discusses the over-representation of Aboriginal people in youth and adult jails.

Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Justice Newsletter

Justice newsletter — Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Justice administers and delivers justice programs and services for Aboriginal adults in the Secwépemc territory.

Cross-border issues (Jay Treaty)

The Jay Treaty is an agreement that allows Native Americans born in Canada to travel freely across the United States/Canadian border.

Find out more about the Jay Treaty and other cross-border issues from Washington LawHelp. The US Embassy also has information on the Jay Treaty.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & Justice

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder & Justice — A website where justice system professionals and others can learn about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and how it affects clients. Includes information on strategies for effective intervention.

New free legal clinic in Victoria

The Victoria Native Friendship Centre is now hosting a weekly clinic for help with legal matters. Read more.

Matrimonial property rights

CBC radio's The Current addresses the interim federal law that came into effect last fall concerning matrimonial property rights for Aboriginal women. Line Paré of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and Aboriginal lawyers Pamela Palmater and Jean Teillet are the guests. Listen to the episode.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)

The first report from the TRC was released February 24, 2012. Watch a CBC news story, and read the interim report and a new historical publication also prepared by the Commission.

Aboriginal rights — New resource for lawyers

Preparing an Aboriginal Rights Case — An Overview for Defence Counsel is a booklet for lawyers that explains Aboriginal rights and what's involved in Aboriginal rights cases.

Gladue reports

LSS is continuing a pilot project to fund Gladue reports for legal aid clients. Read more.

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