Government of Canada and Government of Quebec support restorative justice programs in Manawan and Wemotaci
From: Department of Justice Canada
November 20, 2020 – La Tuque, Quebec – Department of Justice Canada and Ministère de la Justice du Québec
Canadians expect to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair and impartial, responds to the harms caused by crime and helps to keep them safe. An effective justice system encourages meaningful engagement and accountability, and provides an opportunity for healing, reparation and reintegration.
In recognition of Restorative Justice Week (November 15-22), Wednesday, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced the Government of Canada’s continued support to restorative justice initiatives across the country. In Quebec, these initiatives also receive a significant and growing support from the Government of Quebec. Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Minister Lametti as well as Mr. Mathieu Lévesque, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Québec, on behalf of the latter, met virtually with Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw to discuss and highlight their restorative justice programs.
Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw is one of the organizations present in Quebec that receive government funding aimed to support restorative justice initiatives. The Department of Justice Canada has committed to providing $322,500 over three years, from 2019 to 2022, to support their restorative justice programs under Justice Canada’s Indigenous Justice Program. The Ministère de la Justice du Québec, who is also providing funding to Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw, has already committed to providing 290 770$ over the first two years, but that commitment could reach nearly 450 000$ over three years (from 2019 to 2022).
The Atikamekw community justice process supports adult clients, residing in Manawan or Wemotaci, with the goal of restoring social peace and harmony in the community through a holistic approach that helps to strengthen Atikamekw identity and values, reconnecting and strengthening ties to their community.
The Atikamekw community justice process uses the mediation process especially through the Elder Councils, which consist of 10 members of the Manawan community and 10 members of the Wemotaci community.
“Our justice system must be sensitive to the needs and traditions of Indigenous communities. Restorative justice initiatives help hold offenders accountable, promote safer communities, improve outcomes for victims and provide opportunities for healing, repairing harm and reintegration. I am pleased the Government of Canada is supporting Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw for their initiative related to restorative justice.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs
“The Ministère de la Justice du Québec is pleased to continue contributing to the restorative justice initiative that is the Atikamekw community justice process (ACJP). Through this project, we offer an alternative to the structures of the judicial system, which thus extends its action to the various people affected by a conflict or an offence. Peaceful conflict resolution with the Councils of Elders is carried out with due respect for Indigenous traditions in order to provide justice for the entire community.”
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Justice of Québec
“The Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw is proud to see its Atikamekw community justice process receiving the recognition it deserves from the Canadian and Québec governments. The concept of restorative justice suits us very well because it is rooted in our culture and values. We make every effort to ensure that all our initiatives, including the Alternative Measures Program and the Atikamekw authority response system, are culturally appropriate so our members have access to services they are entitled to and identify with. Onikam Social Services is doing a great job in this regard.”
Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation
Atikamekw SIPI – Conseil de la Nation Atikamekw
- Restorative justice aims to engage families and communities to participate in the healing, reparation and reintegration of youth and adults involved in the criminal justice system.
- Restorative justice is based on encouraging accountability of those involved and helps to support better outcomes for victims.
For more information, media may contact:
Office of the Minister of Justice
Office of the Minister of Justice of Québec
Department of Justice Canada
Ministère de la Justice du Québec
418-644-3947, poste 20932
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs