Strategy 2
Track 2

Advancing First Nations Self-Determination

Illustration from Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun

Supporting First Nations in however they choose to undertake the restoration of their laws and the rebuilding of their justice systems and institutions.

The Challenge

Throughout the history of Canada, First Nations justice systems and legal orders have failed to be respected and recognized. Since Canada effectively applied the criminal laws of England at Canadian Confederation in 1867 and enacted the first Canadian federal Criminal Code in 1892, there has been no recognition of Indigenous legal orders in criminal justice. The deeply rooted and racist idea that the only laws and systems that matter are the ones based in common law and colonial legal traditions, has contributed to the ongoing denial of First Nations justice systems, legal orders, and self-determination in criminal justice.

The Solution

First Nations self-determination is a value that must inform the structure and operation of the criminal justice system. The right of Indigenous self-determination, as expressed in articles 3, 4, and 5 of the UN Declaration, allows First Nations to determine their priorities and visions and create space for the recognition and operation of their laws, institutions, and jurisdictions. As such, Strategy 2 focuses on supporting First Nations in however they choose to undertake the rebuilding of their systems and institutions and aims to affirm self-determination and self-government in multiple ways throughout the justice system.

Lines of Action

BCFNJC, with support of BC, will develop a detailed “guidebook” to support First Nations in the work of re-building their First Nations Justice system and institutions.
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More info 00At the 2024 Justice Forum, the BCFNJC will host a plenary session along with breakout discussions to formally introduce and initiate our efforts towards implementing this Strategy.
Co-develop a policy for how the administration of justice will be a subject-matter open for negotiation between First Nations and BC, in both stand-alone negotiations, and as part of comprehensive negotiation processes.
Status not-started