The Aboriginal Justice
Implementation Commission

The term of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission has expired and the Commission has submitted its final report. Click here for the final report.

Of the 10 provinces of Canada, Manitoba has the highest proportion of Aboriginal people in its population. Of a 1996 population of 1.1 million, there were an estimated 77,500 First Nations residents and 57,000 Metis and Non-Status Indians.

In April 1988, the Manitoba Government created the Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People, commonly known as the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. The Inquiry was created in response to two incidents:

The logo design: Keiron Flamand

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"This is the original logo of the
Aboriginal Justice Inquiry"

  • the trial in November 1987 of two men for the 1971 murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas. Allegations were made that the identity of four people present at the killing was known widely in the community shortly after the murder.
  • The death (March 1988) of J.J. Harper, executive director of the Island Lake Tribal Council, following an encounter with a Winnipeg police officer. Many people, particularly in the Aboriginal community, believed many questions about the incident were left unanswered by the police service’s internal investigation.

The Inquiry issued its report in the fall of 1991.

In late November 1999 the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission was created to develop an action plan based on the original Aboriginal Justice Inquiry recommendations. Commissioners Wendy Whitecloud and Paul Chartrand are reviewing the A.J.I. report, with the assistance of Elder advisers Eva McKay and Doris Young, and will submit suggestions and recommendations for implementation. They will communicate and consult with Manitobans, and will also provide quarterly status reports to the responsible Ministers and recommendations on specific issues as they are finalized.

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