Indigenous Perspectives Society

IN Perspective

Learn How To Help Tell Their Story – Gladue Report Training

Media Release

Gladue Media Release – Aug 17, 2017

VICTORIA – To support the ongoing development of holistic approaches to criminal justice in Canada, Indigenous Perspectives Society has developed Gladue Report Training in collaborative partnership with Dr. Jane Dickson, Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

“Indigenous peoples are over-represented in Canada’s criminal justice system due to socio-economic factors arising from intergenerational trauma caused by colonization, including being displaced from their lands, their resources, and the residential school system,” said Indigenous Perspectives Society’s Associate Director Rachelle Dallaire. “With our work in both urban and rural communities, we (Indigenous Perspectives Society) saw the need for well-trained Gladue Report writers to help grow the use of holistic approaches to criminal justice. Gladue Report Training provides the opportunity to employ writers in helping tell the stories of why and how people become involved with the system. Using the Gladue Report process, sentencing can be improved with courts understanding the root causes of behavior.”

Dr. Dickson is a highly-respected scholar and researcher in the area of Indigenous people and criminal justice. She has authored more than 70 Gladue reports and was the evaluator of Legal Aid Saskatchewan’s Gladue Pilot Project. She has advised Cree Nation Government (Quebec) on justice matters and has provided community-based Gladue training to Cree and other Indigenous communities for more than 20 years. Dr. Dickson’s partnership with IPS is a natural extension of her work in communities and at Carleton, where she also offers advanced Gladue training at the graduate level in legal studies and conflict resolution.

“To achieve the remedial goals of Gladue, those who write reports or make submissions must be knowledgeable not only of the key cultural and historical information central to Gladue, but also of the legal standards and current judicial comment on the form, content and structure of good Gladue reports,” said Dr. Jane Dickson. “IPS Gladue Writer training is dedicated to ensuring writers meet a high professional standard which respects Indigenous communities and advances the remedial goals of Gladue while meeting the needs of the courts.”

Indigenous Perspectives Society’s online learning experience will provide participants with the necessary skills, background and legal knowledge to enable writers to function with confidence working with the Gladue Report process and as a Gladue Report Writer in the Canadian criminal justice system.

Training begins October 2, 2017. For more information visit http://ipsociety.ca/gladue/.

Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS) is a charitable and not-for-profit social enterprise that offers training programs and services that help foster a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives, cultural differences, and the need for self-determination. By creating excellence through training and leadership, we help strengthen lives and build successful relationships in our communities.

Beginning with a focus on Indigenous child and family service delivery through the     CARF International accredited Aboriginal Social Work training series, IPS has grown to include Cultural Perspectives Training, Adoption Online, Recruitment and Retention of Indigenous People, and more. By creating excellence though training and leadership, IPS has been supporting communities throughout British Columbia and across Canada for more than 22 years.

To learn more about Indigenous Perspectives Society visit http://ipsociety.ca/

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Media Contact:

Rachelle Dallaire, Associate Director, 250 391-0007

Lifelong Connections Fund Receiving Applications

The Lifelong Connections fund provides up to $4500 for community events and activities that raise awareness of permanency for Indigenous and Métis children and youth. The activities can take place up to March 31, 2018.

All Indigenous and Métis organizations in BC who provide child and family services can apply! Apply at www.lifelongconnections.ca by the deadline of September 13th, 2017.

What is “permanency”? When kids can’t live with their family, they need other adults to step in and provide permanency for them. Permanency means a child or youth has a secure place in a family and a lifelong commitment from at least one adult who can offer them love, guidance, a sense of belonging, and a connection to their culture and heritage. Sometimes permanency means legal adoption (including Aboriginal custom adoption), permanent guardianship, moral adoption, or a significant lifelong relationship with a relative or family friend.

The Lifelong Connections fund is an initiative of the Ministry for Children and Family Development (MCFD) in partnership with the Adoptive Families Association of BC (AFABC), the Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS), Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Child & Family Services, the Métis Commission for Children and Families of BC, Métis Nation BC, Northwest Internation Family & Community Services Society (NIFCS), and Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society (VACFASS).

Need more information? Have a question? Visit www.lifelongconnections.ca or email lifelongconnections@bcadoption.com.

Or call Mary Caros or Brianna Brash-Nyberg at 604-320-7330.

IN Perspective – Summer 2017

The Summer 2017 IN Perspective is out and available to read here. This season’s newsletter features the following articles:

    • Executive Update
    • Message from the Representative for Children and Youth
    • Training Participant Profiles
    • BLOOMM Update
    • Cultural Perspectives Training
    • Button Blanket Project
    • Training Update

Summer 2017 IN Perspective

Sign up to receive our quarterly edition of IN Perspective using the sign up feature at the bottom right corner of this page.

If you have any questions about IN Perspective or would like to have your news or event posted in our next newsletter send us an email using the contact page on our website.

How to be an Ally to Indigenous People

AllyMy parents immigrated to British Columbia from Northern California two years before I was born. They came for the beautiful nature, the opportunities to build a life, and the vision of Canada as a free and just country that is presented internationally. I was fortunate to grow up in the interior plateau area of the province in Kamloops. Kamloops is a city where communities are divided by the rivers, with the local Indigenous people, the Secwepemc, having been moved to the opposite side of the river from where the city grew on their traditional lands.

Growing up there, I remember not understanding why the community was divided, and why Indigenous people were insulted, bullied, and marginalized. I remembered hearing hurtful comments and hateful stereotypes shared by the adults around me, and feeling upset and confused because many of the students I went to school with were Indigenous and I knew those comments were wrong and did not apply to who they were as people. In high-school, a friend of mine and I would do our best to defend one boy who was regularly bullied by members of the senior football team. As an adult, another friend shared that as a teenager he took up skateboarding in part so that he would have a weapon to defend himself from groups of guys that thought it was fun to gang up on a younger kid.

Thanks to the enormous work of several leaders from communities across Canada, collectively we are coming to terms with the impact that international colonization of Indigenous territories in Canada has had on generations of families in hundreds of communities throughout the nation. As the deliberate and unjust treatment of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples resulting from the desire to take control of territories and resources continues to be revealed, thanks to many courageous people willing to stand up for their rights, each one of us called upon to do our work as an ally. The dedication of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and their 94 Calls to Action, along with individuals and organizations who are stepping up to accept their responsibilities in repairing the wrong actions of history, have helped bring to light the darkness that is foundation of this nation.

We are part of a transformative time in which we all have an imperative to take action. It has been eight years since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by the General Assembly, and Canada joined in support of the declaration on May 10, 2016 of last year. Becoming an ally to Indigenous people often has uncomfortable moments where we are confronted by the racism of the world around us, and our own outdated beliefs from our upbringing. In a world of entrenched belief systems evolved from our histories, there is often not a lot of support from communities from all backgrounds. It takes initiative and courage, and these actions are essential for leading with integrity as we step into the future.

While a few Indigenous people have taken on the task of educating all of us about our collective history, while at the same time healing their own deep wounds, this work is not their responsibility. Allies need to take on the task of social transformation, and share the responsibility of ensuring we move into a future built on integrity, good relationships, and trust.

Dr. Lynne Gehl has clearly identified the roles and responsibilities of an ally in her Ally Bill of Responsibilities, and reflecting and reading through this list is a great place to start. Think about what on her list challenges your beliefs, question why, and look at places where you can easily engage and take action. Red Rising Magazine also has a great article on Being and Indigenous Ally. Find your knowledge gaps and explore ways to learn by visiting cultural centers, going on tours, celebrating National Aboriginal Day on June 21, and participating in training and workshops.

We all have an imperative to do our part, both collectively and individually to help support Indigenous self-determination to repair and rebuild the damage done to communities and peoples. As allies, we must examine how our systems of governance and economics have been built, how our social beliefs are constructed, and explore what each one of us can do to help transform our relationships, workplaces, and communities to truly become the safe and just country we proclaim ourselves to be.

Resources:

Ally Bill of Responsibilities, http://www.lynngehl.com/my-ally-bill-of-responsibilities.html

National Aboriginal Day, June 21, https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013718/1100100013719

FAQ on being an Indigenous Ally, http://redrisingmagazine.ca/faq-on-being-an-indigenous-ally/

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/declaration-on-the-rights-of-indigenous-peoples.html

Canada officially adopts UN declaration on rights of Indigenous Peoples, http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/canada-adopting-implementing-un-rights-declaration-1.3575272

About the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1450124405592/145012445612

About the Author

Alesha Doran is the Business Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Perspectives Society – Creating Excellence through Training and Leadership. A non-indigenous ally, Alesha was born and raised in Secwepemc territory and now enjoys life in beautiful Lkwungen territory on southern Vancouver Island. For more information on Cultural Perspectives Training email her at aleshad@ipsociety.ca and visit www.ipsociety.ca

What Is Jordan’s Principle And Why Does It Matter?

Jordan's Principle(1)Jordan’s Principle functions as an essential mechanism for ensuring human, constitutional, and treaty rights of Indigenous children. By establishing a procedure to guarantee immediate care for Indigenous children, Jordan’s Principle provides access to public services ordinarily available to other Canadian children so Indigenous children do not experience service denials, delays, or disruptions related to their First Nations status.

Jordan’s Principle is named to honour Jordan River Anderson, an Indigenous child from Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. Jordan was born with Carey Fineman Ziter Syndrome, a rare muscular disorder that required medical treatment in a Winnipeg hospital. After spending the first two years of his life in a hospital, doctors felt he could return home. A disagreement between the province of Manitoba and the Canadian federal government on who should pay for his at home care caused Jordan to remain the hospital, and he died at the age of five years old in 2005. Jordan never knew what it was like to live in his family home.

After reflecting on Jordan’s Principle, I was reminded of when at 5 years old I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks with severe pneumonia. I shared a room with a girl who had polio. During the time I was there a couple of other children came and went. The nurses and doctors where nice, but it was lonely and frightening. I can’t imagine if that was my whole world.

Responsibility for services to First Nations children is often shared by federal, provincial/territorial, and First Nations governments; in contrast, funding and delivery of these same services to most other children in Canada falls solely under provincial/territorial jurisdiction. Canadian federal and provincial governments often dispute financial responsibility for services for Indigenous children, resulting in children being left waiting for services they desperately need. Due to structural racism in Canadian systems of governance and healthcare, Indigenous children are denied services that are available to other children.

A Members Motion (M-296) endorsing the adoption of Jordan’s Principle was unanimously passed in the Canadian House of Commons in 2007. The federal government subsequently led a governmental response to Jordan’s Principle, facilitating the development of federal and provincial/territorial policies and procedures for identifying Jordan’s Principle cases and resolving jurisdictional disputes over payment or provision of services to individual First Nations children. This process resulted in a limited application of Jordan’s Principle by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to children living on reserve with a disability or short-term condition.

In a landmark ruling on January 26, 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the federal government to immediately stop applying a limited and discriminatory definition of Jordan’s Principle, and to immediately take measures to implement the full meaning and scope of the principle.

On July 6, 2016, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada submitted a compliance report to the Tribunal providing an update on its implementation of the principle. In the submission, the government committed to invest up to $382 million to implement a broader application of Jordan’s Principle.

The governmental response to the application of Jordan’s Principle does not reflect the vision and intention for service delivery advanced by First Nations and endorsed by the House of Commons. Reviews by the Canadian Paediatric Society and UNICEF Canada have highlighted shortcomings in the governmental response to Jordan’s Principle, and the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society is asking for all governments to work together to fully practice the intention and spirit of Jordan’s Principle.

Additional Resources:

About the Author

Alesha Doran is the Business Development Coordinator for the Indigenous Perspectives Society – Creating Excellence through Training and Leadership. A non-indigenous ally, Alesha was born and raised in Secwepemc territory and now enjoys life in beautiful Lkwungen territory on southern Vancouver Island. For more information on Cultural Perspectives Training email her at aleshad@ipsociety.ca and visit www.ipsociety.ca