Part 1 - Introduction, Aboriginal Justice In Our Times
Part 2 - Hugh Braker, Q.C., President, Native Courtworker & Counselling Association of BC
Part 3 - The Honourable Judge Marion Buller Bennett, presiding judge, First Nations Court
Part 4 - Gerry Oleman, Representative from the Indian Residential School Survivors Society
Part 5 - Grand Chief Edward John, lawyer and member, First Nations Summit Task Group
Part 6 - Panel Discussion
Part 7 - Audience Q&A
Aboriginal Justice Event Reveals Startling Statistics, Hope for Change
Aboriginal Justice in Our Times featured four speakers who described how BC’s justice system could better serve the province’s Aboriginal community.
The Law Courts Education Society (LCES) coordinated the event, which is part of the organization’s 20th anniversary speakers’ series. An audience filled the Chief Simon Baker Room at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre to watch passionate speeches and engaging discussions.
Hugh Braker, QC, president of the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC, began the event by speaking about the province’s Aboriginal youth. Braker used startling statistics – such as how Aboriginal youth are about 600 times more likely to be removed from their home than non-Aboriginal youth – to illustrate his opinion that the best analysis of how society treats its minorities and ethnic groups is to look at how it treats youth.
Following Braker was the Honourable Judge Marion Buller Bennett, whose First Nations Court uses restorative justice to achieve a 0% recidivism rate among offenders who complete their healing plans.
Gerry Oleman, a community support worker with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, then spoke about how he thinks the justice system needs to change in order to better provide justice for Aboriginal peoples.
Finally, Grand Chief Edward John, a lawyer and member of the First Nations Summit Task Group, detailed how the relationship between the Crown and Aboriginals is shifting from one of denial to one of recognition.
The four speakers then engaged in a moderated discussion as well as a question and answer segment with the audience.
“The speakers did a tremendous job of addressing current Aboriginal justice issues, such as how BC’s justice system can better serve our Aboriginal community,” said the Honourable Judge Pedro de Couto, president of the LCES and the event’s moderator.