Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission
Final Report

Home Page

News Releases

Final Report

Final Report

Quarterly Reports


Consultation Papers

Report of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry of Manitoba

Logo Design

Terms of Reference




Appendix I

AJIC recommendations

The Government of Manitoba place the issue of recognition and reconciliation policies and actions on the agenda of a new Roundtable on Aboriginal Issues, Aboriginal Justice Commission, or such other implementation institution that may be agreed upon between the Province and representatives of the Aboriginal peoples in Manitoba, including in particular the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Metis Federation.

The Interpretation Act of Manitoba be amended to provide that all legislation be interpreted subject to Aboriginal and treaty rights.

The Government of Manitoba formally renounce its half interest in minerals within Indian reserves.

The Government of Manitoba place the issue of the establishment of an Aboriginal Justice System on the agenda of the Aboriginal Justice Commission or such other institution as may be set up to implement the recommendations of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.

The Government of Manitoba develop and adopt, with the full participation of the Manitoba Metis Federation, a comprehensive Métis policy on matters within its jurisdiction.

The Government of Manitoba cooperate with the federal government and other provinces, where appropriate, on the implementation of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and the RCAP recommendations.

Representatives of the Province enter forthwith into discussions with the MMF to begin the process of addressing matters within the jurisdiction of Manitoba that have been the subject of recommendations by the AJI and the RCAP.

Any future, major, natural resource developments not proceed, unless and until agreements or treaties are reached with the Aboriginal people and communities in the region, including the Manitoba Metis Federation and its locals and regions, who might be negatively affected by such projects, in order to respect their Aboriginal, treaty, or other rights in the territory concerned.

The Government of Manitoba commit to reducing the number of young people held in pretrial detention in Manitoba from one of the highest in Canada to at least the national average, and put in place the services to accomplish this.

As part of a demonstrated commitment to reducing the number of young people held in pretrial detention, the Department of Justice should, as often as possible, publish comparative statistics on its website. If statistics comparing Manitoba with other provinces are only available annually the department should publish its own statistics quarterly with comparative numbers annually.

The police consider alternatives to the laying of charges in all cases involving Aboriginal youth and, when appropriate, exercise their discretion to take no legal measure or to take measures other than laying a charge.

Police departments continue to designate youth specialists and provide specialized training to all officers involved in the administration of the Young Offenders Act.

When a youth court judge denies bail, the judge consider releasing the young offender into the custody of his or her parents, or another responsible person, as contemplated by section 7.1(1)(a) of the Young Offenders Act.

Aboriginal communities be provided with resources to develop bail supervision and other programs that will serve as alternatives to detention.

Young offenders be removed from their community only as a last resort and only when the youth poses a danger to some individual or to the community.

Child and family service agencies be directed to continue to provide services to youth clients charged with an offence.

Child welfare and youth justice services be better integrated and co-ordinated so that all their services are available to young people charged with offences.

The adequacy of administrative and financial resources provided to youth justice committees be assessed.

The provincial government establish Aboriginal focussed diversion and alternative measures programs which incorporate the following principles:

  • Aboriginal culture must be integrated into the program. Diversion schemes which involve the use of Aboriginal elders, peacemakers and other aspects of Aboriginal culture appear to have the greatest potential for success. In the context of Manitoba's urban Aboriginal communities, the program decision-makers could be drawn from the Aboriginal community within the urban environment.

  • Judges must allow the community to become involved in sentencing but they must retain ultimate responsibility for sentencing.

  • The program should attempt to involve all those who have a direct interest in the case, including the victim and the community.

  • Programs should be able to accept referrals at any stage of the criminal justice process. They should also be able to accept referrals from the community before any charges have been laid and, if possible, before the authorities become involved.

  • The community's respect for the program is vital. This means that one primary goal of the program must be to seek reconciliation and the restoration of peace in the community.

The establishment of a range of innovative options that can be used by the decision-makers will be critical to the success of alternative measures programs based in Aboriginal communities. An appropriate plan for an Aboriginal youth might, for example, involve participation in an Aboriginal operated wilderness program, an education program, an employment training program, or a treatment program.

Aboriginal supervisors from the community must monitor the disposition. The community must see sanctions that originate from, and are enforced by, the community, and not some outside force.

These programs should be formally designated and recognized as Young Offenders Act programs so that their role has official recognition and official support.

The Aboriginal Court Worker Program provide a court worker wherever Youth Court sits.

The Department of Justice collect and publish monthly statistics showing the number of young people in custody who have been transported from their home community to another location, the reason for the movement, and the time the young person spent away from his or her community.

The Government of Manitoba, in consultation with Aboriginal communities, implement the recommendations of the First Nations Justice Strategy Evaluation Report to expand the strategy to all other MKO communities that wish to participate.

The Government of Manitoba review its policy on volunteers working in the justice system, in particular in remote communities, with a view to ensuring, at the least, that volunteers are not out-of-pocket for expenses.

The Government of Manitoba, in consultation with Aboriginal communities in southern Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg, consider whether the First Nations Justice Strategy approach would be useful in the southern parts of the province.

The Government of Manitoba establish community justice initiatives that provide for community involvement, alternative measures, and culturally appropriate services where communities express an interest in developing such a program.

Such a program should include:

  • The adoption by the Attorney General of an alternative measures policy that could provide guidance to Crown attorneys, police, and others on the types of cases eligible for alternative measures.

  • A system to refer and to track referred cases and to ensure results are reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • Ensuring that adequate community resources are catalogued and available to handle referred cases. Such resources may be alcohol or addiction counsellors; mediators; facilitators for various alternative approaches, such as conferencing, talking circles, healing circles, and reintegration circles; community justice workers or probation officers to supervise restitution, etc.

Service indicators be developed for each circuit court by the Department of Justice. These indicators might include some or all of the following:

  • Number of matters on a docket
  • Number of remands
  • Number of remands per case
  • Number of guilty pleas
  • Number of trials
  • Total time of sitting
  • Average or median time from charge to trial for each court location

This data should be collected for each sitting of court in each location, and published on the department's website.

The department should indicate what it considers to be minimum service standards for Winnipeg and locations outside Winnipeg. The department and the Judiciary should then commit to meeting these standards.

Where the standards cannot be met, the department should be required to explain why it is unable to meet the standards.

The Government of Manitoba, in consultation with the appropriate First Nation governments, work to establish circuit court sittings on the Sandy Bay, Peguis, Sagkeeng, and Little Saskatchewan First Nations, should these First Nations desire this. This option should be offered to other First Nations whose members constitute the majority of persons appearing in a circuit court held near, but not on, the particular First Nation. Implementing this option will require negotiating appropriate agreements to ensure acceptable and continuing service, and to address concepts of community participation.

The Government of Manitoba consult with Aboriginal organizations with a view to creating regional, Aboriginal-controlled probation services to serve Aboriginal communities.

The Government of Manitoba seek to increase significantly the number of Aboriginal probation officers so that probation services to Aboriginal offenders are delivered primarily by Aboriginal probation officers.

The Portage Correctional Institution be closed.

The Government of Manitoba establish a new correctional facility for women that provides them with adequate treatment, training, and cultural and spiritual supports, and provides the greatest possible number of opportunities for community integration.

The Government of Manitoba initiate a process involving all stakeholders (with Aboriginal representation that includes the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Metis Federation) to review policing issues in Manitoba with a goal of a new Provincial Police Act within three years. The review should deal with, among other things,

  • The role of the province in encouraging the adoption and delivery of effective community policing
  • Whether current mechanisms to fund police services are equitable
  • The role of the province in ensuring adequate and effective levels of policing
  • Complaints and discipline mechanisms for alleged criminal and non-criminal conduct
  • Establishing training and performance standards
  • Crime prevention
  • Victim services
  • The role and responsibilities of bodies charged with providing general supervision of police
  • The distribution of powers between municipal governments, police supervisory bodies, and the chief of police
  • The role of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a provincial police force, and arrangements for provision of specialized services by the provincial police force to other forces, such as First Nation police forces and municipal forces, both RCMP and non-RCMP
  • What, if any, legislative provisions are required to deal with Aboriginal police forces

The Government of Manitoba and Aboriginal communities adopt a process through which Aboriginal communities could choose the most appropriate type of police structure; such a process should include:

  • A needs assessment
  • Option assessment
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The Government of Manitoba work with Dakota Ojibway Police Service (DOPS) to explore ways to improve the efforts of DOPS to provide a community-based police service.

The Government of Manitoba work with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to determine whether the RCMP is sufficiently responsive to community needs and concerns, and whether its degree of responsiveness can be improved.

The Government of Manitoba adopt, in consultation with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Metis Federation, a five-year Aboriginal employment strategy. The government must make annual reports to the public on its progress in implementing this program.

The Commission believes the employment strategy should incorporate the following elements:

  • A commitment from both the political and administrative leadership to increasing the number of Aboriginal employees in accordance with the recommendations of the AJI. This commitment must spell out political and administrative accountability, and identify and detail the appropriate financial resources. There must be goals, a timeline, and responsibility for meeting the goals within the designated time frame.

  • A review of current employment systems to identify barriers.

  • An increase in Aboriginal human resource capacity within government departments. This should include the hiring of Aboriginal Human Resource Officers.

  • Formal initiatives to improve Aboriginal recruitment, retention, and advancement. This would include, but not be limited to, outreach and preparatory training; restating occupational qualifications to provide recognition of those positions for which knowledge of Aboriginal languages and culture is a qualification; culturally sensitive marketing mechanisms to recruit applicants; and monitoring of program effectiveness.

  • A review, improvement, and expansion of the Aboriginal Management Development program.

  • Development mechanisms to ensure Aboriginal access to career-advancement and employee-support services.

  • Establishment of a union-management partnership to identify, address, and eliminate employment barriers within government.

The Government of Manitoba make a public commitment to appoint forthwith a significant number of Aboriginal people to the positions of Provincial Court judge, magistrate, hearing officer, referee, and master.

The Government of Manitoba appoint forthwith a significant number of Aboriginal people to the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Manitoba.

The Government of Manitoba adopt a policy requiring appropriate representation of Aboriginal people on all provincial boards, commissions, agencies, and other institutions.

The Government of Manitoba, through the Manitoba Department of Education and the Manitoba Department of Justice, work with the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Association of Manitoba Chiefs to establish an Aboriginal Justice Institute with an appropriate tripartite governance structure. The institute would use existing courses and would develop new culturally appropriate training programs to assist Aboriginal people to work in the current justice system and in evolving approaches such as community and restorative justice.

The Government of Manitoba solicit the views of the Manitoba Metis Federation and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to ensure the appropriateness of spiritual and cultural programming in correctional institutions.

The Government of Manitoba continue at all levels of government to employ cross-cultural training programs and to conduct regular evaluations of the effectiveness of such training.

The Government of Manitoba adopt a policy that prefers Aboriginal people to deliver cross-cultural training programs.

The Department of Justice, in conjunction with representatives of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Metis Federation, Aboriginal women's organizations, and other interested groups, review whether increased Crown discretion, in appropriate domestic violence cases, subject to appropriate guidelines, could be used to encourage counselling and other intervention programs. Any new approach should be carefully monitored and evaluated.

The Government of Manitoba support continued research and evaluation of domestic violence policies and programming, which includes analysis by ethnicity of accused and victims.

The Government of Manitoba expand availability of culturally appropriate Aboriginal treatment and support programs for family members involved in domestic violence cases.

Aboriginal leaders work with the Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba to ensure that safe options for victims of domestic violence are available within communities.

The Department of Justice work with local authorities to seek options that, in domestic violence cases, would preserve the victim's safety but allow the accused to remain in the community while on bail.

The Government of Manitoba increase the number of Aboriginal persons employed by the Women's Advocacy Program so that advocacy services delivered to Aboriginal victims are delivered primarily by Aboriginal service providers.

The Department of Justice review recommendations made by Dr. Jane Ursel in her paper prepared for the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission regarding dual charging to determine if they would assist in dealing with the question of dual arrests.

The Government of Manitoba investigate whether there is an appropriate Aboriginal agency now providing a range of family violence programming, and, if so, whether the development of a 24-hour response capacity, available to men and women, in this agency would be effective in dealing with family violence issues.

The Government of Manitoba monitor the Winnipeg Police Services Early Intervention Pilot Project and consider the expansion of the program, should an evaluation so warrant.

The departments of Justice, and Family Services and Housing, together with the appropriate child welfare agencies review, and report publicly on the status of implementation of the recommendations of the report, A New Justice for Indian Children.

The Government of Manitoba seek to enter into agreement with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and the Manitoba Metis Federation to develop a plan that would result in First Nations and Métis communities developing and delivering Aboriginal child welfare services.

The Government of Manitoba develop a comprehensive Aboriginal policy.

The Government of Manitoba enter into discussion with the Government of Canada and Manitoba Aboriginal organizations with the goal of establishing an Aboriginal Justice Commission.

As part of a public commitment to implementing the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry recommendations, the Government of Manitoba work with Aboriginal organizations in Manitoba to establish a Roundtable on Aboriginal Issues.


Table of Contents
Executive Summary
Section 1 - The Aboriginal Justice Inquiry: background and key issues
Section 2 - Aboriginal Rights and Aboriginal Relations
Section 3 - Community and Restorative Justice
Section 4 - Crime Prevention through Community Development
Section 5 - Concluding Thoughts

Buffalo Manitoba Government
Home Page