Strategy 4
Track 1 and Track 2

Expanding a Network of Indigenous Justice Centres

Illustration from Ocean Hyland

Establishing Indigenous Justice Centres (IJCs) that will provide culturally appropriate information, advice, support, and representation for Indigenous people.

The Challenge

For many Indigenous people, navigating the colonial justice system is a challenging, isolating, and frustrating experience that can negatively impact all areas of an individual’s life, from mental health to housing and employment. In addition to high rates of incarceration and justice system involvement, Indigenous people experience many challenges in accessing legal supports and services that are culturally appropriate, responsive, and that recognize and address the impacts of intergenerational trauma.

The Solution

BCFNJC has been actively working on the establishment and operation of 15 IJCs across the province. IJCs are safe and welcoming spaces in the community that offer culturally appropriate justice services to support Indigenous people with their interactions in the colonial legal system. IJCs provide service delivery at the “case” level as well as engagement and justice solution development at the community level. As justice issues do not exist in isolation, each IJC also provides wraparound supports to connect people to housing, diversion, safety, treatment, and restorative justice programs. 

IJCs will also house legal aid and Gladue services, which are integral to Track 1 of the Strategy. IJCs will also provide a strong foundation for Track 2 work as they can be spaces to work collaboratively with  First Nations to develop justice solutions, expand services, and revitalize First Nations legal orders. 

A white line in a circle

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Depicted by the three tule-mat tipi structures to represent community, IJCs bring back decision making into the hands of people, providing support both to individuals in their interactions with the justice system, and to communities seeking to expand and improve their justice infrastructure.

Lines of Action

Establish a network of 15 Justice Centres across British Columbia
Status in-progress


Four IJCs opened (Merritt, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Virtual IJC)

“Our four Indigenous Justice Centres – one in Prince Rupert, Prince George and Merritt as well as a virtual centre – provide vital legal services to underserved communities.  These centres are on the frontlines of justice reform and assist with criminal and child protection matters.  For Indigenous clients, the legal advice and representation they receive can be life-changing.”

Doug White, Q.C.
Former Chair of the BC First Nations Justice Council

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Virtual IJC Service Model Launched

The goal of the Virtual Indigenous Justice Centre (VIJC) is to provide no-cost legal services to Indigenous clients living in under-served areas of the province where access to legal advice or representation is difficult or non-existent.

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IJC Evaluation

In 2022 – our initial “pilot” Indigenous Justice Centres were evaluated by an exteranl 3rd party.

Jan 2023
5 Regional IJC locations announced

The BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) confirmed partnerships with access to justice specialists CALIBRATE and Indigenous capital projects design firm Reimagine Gathering to support the opening of five Indigenous Justice Centres (Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna, Surrey and Nanaimo).

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June 12th, 2023
Chilliwack Indigenous Justice Centre Opening Press Event

Indigenous Peoples will have access to better legal supports and healing opportunities with the opening of a new Indigenous Justice Centre in Chilliwack and $10 million in funding to support First Nations’ community-based justice program.

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Summer 2023
Chilliwack IJC celebrated the new services at a community feast hosted by Shxwhá:y Village

Robert Gladstone – Chief of Shxwhá:y Village hosted BCFNJC Council members and Staff in the recently built Cultural Centre to share a meal, stories, and to build trust and relationships in circle with BCFNJC and the community.

Nov 2023
New IJC Service Model

BCFNJC created and adopted a new Indigenous Justice Centre model with an expanded effort to provide more focus on wrap around supports.

Dec 2023
5 New Regional IJCs Begin Operating

A monumental achievement, clients begin receiving services in Kelowna, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo as part of the 5 new regional Indigenous Justice Centres that opened during BCFNJC’s rapid expansion.

Mar 2024
Indigenous Justice Centre Eligibility Update

All Indigenous Peoples, regardless of whether they qualify for legal aid, can access free legal and outreach services if they are facing a criminal or child protection issue. Get free help at one of our Indigenous Justice Centres in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Surrey, Kelowna, Prince George, Merritt, Prince Rupert, Chilliwack or through our Virtual Indigenous Justice Centre.

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Mar 2024
6 Additional IJC Locations Announced

Through community engagement, data, and needs assessments conducted by BCFNJC, six new and additional IJC sites have been identified and the collaboration with communities in  Fort-St. John, Burns Lake to Hazelton, Williams Lake, Kamloops, Port Hardy, and Cranbrook have begun.

Our IJC Locations

BCFNJC and BC will establish a presumption of diversion workplan identifying every opportunity within the justice system where the presumption of diversion may be operationalized.


46140 Yale Rd #201
Chilliwack, BC V2P 0J6

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275 Lawrence Ave #206
Kelowna, BC V1Y 6L2

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1999 Voght St
Merritt, BC V1K1B8

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A-17 Church St
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H5

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Prince George

511 George St
Prince George, BC V2L 1R8

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Prince Rupert

#200 – 515 3rd Avenue West
Prince Rupert, BC, V8J 1L9

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13401 108 Ave, 10th Floor
Surrey, BC V3T 5T4

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510 Beatty St
Vancouver, BC V6B 2L3

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794 Yates St, 100
Victoria, BC V8W 1L4

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