Strategy 14
Track 1 and Track 2

Expanding Culturally-Based Programming in BC Corrections

Illustration from Mack Paul

Developing correctional alternatives in First Nations and expanding cultural programs that support the healing and rehabilitation of Indigenous people in the corrections system.

The Challenge

More culturally based programs are needed throughout Corrections to support the healing journeys of Indigenous people, alongside alternatives to corrections that are First Nations designed, based, and controlled. Studies and experience have repeated the importance of cultural norms, practices, and programming within corrections, both as part of rehabilitation and healing, and as part of reducing rates of recidivism (re-offending). Such culturally based programming is also critical for appropriate reconnection and reintegration with families and communities after sentences have been served.

The Solution

By expanding more culturally based interventions and programs, Indigenous values, traditions, and healing methods can be integrated into the corrections system to help Indigenous people successfully progress in their healing journeys and reintegrate into community. BCFNJC will support the expansion of culturally based programming throughout BC Corrections, including within adult custody centres and community corrections supervision. Through Strategy 14, BCNJC will also support the development of a network of First Nations corrections alternatives.

Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village is a federal facility for Aboriginal men, created under section 81 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), in which traditional and holistic teachings are utilized. The facility provides holistic programs, as well as training and maintenance skills to improve employability. Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village’s model of programming includes an Elder-driven approach. In BC as well, Elders will play a key role in culturally-based, healing programming. Pillars of the community, they can help Indigenous residents progress their healing journey and connection to Indigenous identity and culture through compassion and the teachings they share.

Lines of Action

BCFNJC and BC will pilot two new correction alternatives within First Nations in BC, as a basis for informing the development of a network of alternatives over the next decade.
Status not-started
BCFNJC and BC will establish a workplan and budget for the expansion of cultural programs within BC Corrections.
Status not-started