Social Survey Researcher, Consultant
Administratively Reports to:
Roseanna Hudson, Aboriginal Community Council Coordinator
Strategic Direction Reporting:
Thunder Bay Urban Aboriginal Strategy Justice Committee (TBUAJC) also: c.c. to Bernice Dubec, Program Director
The purpose is to conduct research and prepare a “Community Mapping” document of individual First Nations communities that are being serviced by Northern Ontario Courts. This document will be used by presiding Judges, Justices of the Peace, and Gladue Writers, and Defense Counsel and other related positions that cover this area. This document will provide members of the judiciary with knowledge of the systemic background of individual communities and a clear listing of available services and programming which will be helpful for Judges when considering alternatives to custody that is meaningful and that meets the needs of Aboriginal accused.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND GOVERNANCE:
This project will be administered by the Thunder Bay Indian Youth Friendship Society and will be overseen by the UAS Justice Circle which is comprised of various local organizations such as, Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre, Kinna Aweya Legal Clinic, NAN Legal Services, Legal Aid Ontario, Ontario Native Women’s Association, Creighton Youth Services, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, John Howard Society.
The Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre was established in 1964 and was one of the first Friendship Centres in Canada. It was a place for Aboriginal youth to hang out, particularly youth who had to leave their communities to attend school in Thunder Bay. It became their second home. In 1968 the Friendship Centre incorporated under the name of the “Thunder Bay Indian Youth Friendship Society” but for the purposes of this proposal it will be called “Friendship Centre”. In 1970 the Friendship Centre built a new building at the current site and secured core funding in 1972. Over the years programs were established to meet the increasing demands on its services by the growing number of Aboriginal people migrating to Thunder Bay. The Friendship Centre has a wide range of community-based and culturally appropriate programs and services to address the distinct needs of Aboriginal people in the area of justice, health, education, employment & training and relief of poverty. We service clients, families of all ages from infants to Elders.
One of the programs at the Thunder Bay Indian Friendship Centre is the Aboriginal Community Council Program which is a diversion program for Aboriginal accused persons in conflict with the law. The goal of this program is to provide opportunity for Aboriginal accused to accept responsibility for their criminal behaviour and be accountable for their own conduct by actively participating in rectifying the wrong they have caused. This program began in October 1997 and is jointly funded by Department of Justice (Canada) and Ministry of the Attorney General (Ontario). There is three staff in the program; the Program Coordinator, Youth Caseworker and Administrative Assistant and there is also a pool of 31 volunteers from the Aboriginal community of Thunder Bay. The role of the volunteers, also known as Council Members, is to hear individual Aboriginal accused cases and provide support, direction, guidance and make recommendations that address outstanding issues that led directly or indirectly to the commission of the offence. Council members possess a variety of special and unique skills, knowledge, life skills and experiences to encourage accused to take control over their own matters. This program has been up and running for the past 14 years and is recognized by the local courts. As part of the Aboriginal community it has become the role of this program to participate in various justice related committees which led to the purpose of this proposal.