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Treaty Indian Justice Systems Development Underway

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JANUARY 1993      v22 n01 p04  
Vice-Chief Dan Bellegarde of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Justice Commission announced the setting up of an office to carry out developmental plans leading to an Indian controlled justice system in Saskatchewan. Priority will be put on the development of Tribal Courts and Policing Services for the 72 First Nations.

The development projects will operate with contributions of $70,000.00 from the Solicitor General Canada and $50,000.00 from Justice Canada. The FSIN team will operate out of office space in Saskatoon provided by the Province of Saskatchewan.

These initiatives are supported by the FSIN Legislative Assembly, the Solicitor General of Canada and Justice Canada. The Hon. Bob Mitchell, Minister of Justice for Saskatchewan, indicated strong support for an Indian-controlled system.

Other discussion areas between the FSIN and the Province of Saskatchewan include recently completed studies of the Courtworker Program and Legal Aide. Vice-Chief Bellegarde hopes to have a Treaty Indian Courtworker program operating by April 1, 1993.

Various Commissions of Inquiry, Predominantly the Marshall Inquiry in Nova Scotia and the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice Inquiry along with the Saskatchewan Treaty Indian Justice Review, have indicated significant changes are required in the way Canada administers its justice system vis-a-vis aboriginal people. The FSIN position is that an Indian-controlled Justice system is an essential element of Indian self-government and is inevitable in the search for a better quality of life for the Treaty Indian people.

The FSIN Justice Commission will be meeting in Saskatoon on January 14 and 15 to further consider the action plans and policy direction. For more information contact Vice-Chief Bellegarde at 721-2822.