Strategy 21
Track 1 and Track 2

Strengthening Traditional Knowledge and First Nations Laws in the Justice System

Illustration from Ocean Hyland

Expanding the roles for Elders and Knowledge Keepers across the justice system to support cultural appropriateness, restorative justice processes and Indigenous methods of healing.

The Challenge: 

A critical aspect of both Track 1, reform of the existing justice system, and Track 2, the rebuilding of First Nations justice institutions and legal orders, is supporting and expanding the roles to be played by Elders and Knowledge Keepers. These roles include everything from ensuring and reinforcing the cultural appropriateness of how the justice system is operating, to applying knowledge of First Nations laws and teachings in First Nations Courts. Elders also have an important role to play in healing and trauma-centred approaches to building well-being and effective and proactive justice programming in communities.

The Solution

BCFNJC recognizes that Elders and Knowledge Keepers are critical pillars of the community who, through their knowledge, teachings, and compassion, can help progress an individual’s healing journey and restore balance within a community. Through Strategy 21, BCFNJC will establish and expand roles across the justice system for Elders and Knowledge Keepers to support our foundational work, including support for community-based justice programming, cultural competency and appropriateness, and the work of Indigenous Justice Centres. BCFNJC will establish an Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council who can facilitate this work and ensure Elders and Knowledge Keepers are providing advice on all aspects of the Strategy’s implementation.

Lines of Action

(2)
A
BCFNJC to establish an Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council to provide advice on all aspects of the implementation of this Strategy.
Status completed
B
BCFNJC and BC, with advice from the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council, will establish a network of regional Elders and Knowledge Keepers Councils who have formal relationships with, and can provide support to all sectors of the justice system, including police, BCPS and Crown Counsel, courts, and corrections.
Status not-started

Timeline

Summer 2023
working group formed to develop foundational documents for the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council (EKKC)
Nov 2023
Council adopts the foundational documents for the EKKC
Dec 2023
Appointed Krystle-Dawn Sallis as Elders Liaison to manage the Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council.
Jan 2024
Job description posted to find inaugural EKKCs
Apr 2024
First in person meeting and shared meal with the BCFNJC and the 5 person Elders and Knowledge Keepers Council
Apr 2024
All EKKC honoured at the 3rd Annual Justice Forum Honouring Ceremony for committing to the advancement of justice transformation