Members Jackson and Ambrose of the Edmonton Native Youth Justice Committee spoke with CFWE-FM last week. They work with the Indigenous youth populations in inner-city Edmonton, primarily, and provide them an alternative to the traditional justice system.
Their goal is to lead young people away from negative influences that bring them to the young offenders’ centre, and which will eventually lead them to the remand centre. It gives young people a way to acknowledge the harm they’ve done in their communities, and make amends.
Research tells us, that when a person becomes institutionalized, they become recidivist and reoffend. The work of the justice committee wants to disrupt that early, before the ‘in and out and back in prison again’ process engrains itself.
Elder Will Campbell works with Native Counselling Services and takes an active role in the youth justice circles.
A lot of Indigenous people across the country are disenchanted with the legal system. They feel that it doesn’t protect them or give them justice. The acknowledgement of the values of Indigenous justice systems helps find a new way that makes sense to the Native youth.
If all of this is of interest to readers over 18, the Native Youth Justice Committee is looking for volunteers. Listen to the roles available and visit the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/EdmontonNativeYouthJusticeCommittee/