Justice Strategy

Developed with Indigenous leadership and grounded in respect for Indigenous rights and diversity, it seeks a transformative overhaul to improve justice outcomes and uphold human rights.

Development and purpose

Indigenous people in the province of British Columbia continue to be disproportionately and negatively harmed by the criminal justice system. The alarming overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system and children in custody of the state, along with the distinct lack of culturally appropriate and responsive legal services and resources, highlights the critical need for transformative change.

To advance this transformation and address the poor justice outcomes experienced by Indigenous people, the BC First Nations Justice Strategy was signed by the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) and the Province on March 6, 2020. The Strategy was endorsed by BC First Nations leadership, through resolutions of the BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit, and Union of BC Indian Chiefs.

Providing a clear and comprehensive road map to the fundamental transformation of the justice system in BC, the Strategy has been shaped and informed by the collective wisdom and lived experience of Indigenous people, the recognition and implementation of Indigenous Title and Rights, the respect for gender diversity and human rights of all Indigenous citizens, particularly 2SLGBTQQIA+ persons and Indigenous women and girls, and the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UN Declaration), particularly with respect to the justice sector.

The ultimate goal of the Strategy is to systematically advance the development and implementation of Indigenous justice systems and institutions, so that Indigenous laws and governments are ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens and maintaining order and balance within communities.

Track 1

Reforming the existing
justice system

Track 2

Restoring of First Nations justice
systems and structures

While the Strategy has been specifically prepared to address the realities faced by First Nations peoples in BC, and is set between First Nations and BC, it supports collaboration and relationship-building amongst all Indigenous peoples and recognizes the necessary and vital role Canada must play in the work ahead, setting out specific elements regarding working with Canada.

The Strategy also recognizes that there are shared, as well as some distinct, realities faced by other Indigenous peoples in BC, in particular the Métis who have put forward their own Justice Strategy with the province to address their unique issuesseparate processes going forward between them and BC regarding the justice system.

Potential areas of linkage or co-ordinated action between the distinct processes and strategies being advanced by different Indigenous groups in BC may be explored through the Strategy. Esther Solomon


A Strategy must adopt an integrative, holistic, and comprehensive approach that addresses all forms of interaction between First Nations and the justice system.

180° Shift

A Strategy must achieve a 180-degree shift from the current reality of First Nations people being overrepresented in all stages of interaction with the justice system, while at the same time being underrepresented as actors with roles and responsibilities within the system


A Strategy must be proactive in creating conditions where First Nations people are no longer disproportionately interacting with, nor being impacted by, the justice system.

2 Tracks

A Strategy must pursue two tracks of change at once: (1) Reform of the existing justice system; (2) Transformation through the rebuilding of Indigenous justice systems.
Implementing the BC First Nations Justice Strategy requires a collective approach that is grounded in transparency and accountability. We invite you to view our Strategy and to explore the exciting work we are doing to advance it.