|| NEWS ADVISORY|
Legal Aid Alberta and Siksika Justice bring in Gladue expert
to make strides in improving justice for the Nation
SIKSIKA, AB—January 25, 2013—Siksika Justice and Legal Aid Alberta are collaborating to provide training in Gladue report writing for its staff and members of the Aboriginal justice community. Gladue Report writing is crucial to fulfilling the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision in R v. Gladue that requires courts to consider the circumstances of aboriginal offenders when imposing a sentence.
Jonathan Rudin, Canada’s pre-eminent authority on Gladue report writing and Program Director of the Aboriginal Legal Services Centre in Toronto, is providing a two-day training session at Siksika Nation. He has helped many other provinces set up their Gladue services.
“I am so excited to implement a new process that will help the courts here in Siksika. We are so fortunate to have Legal Aid Alberta here on the reserve, working with us to find ways to improve services for our people,” said Dyan Breaker, Manager at Siksika Justice.
Currently, members of the justice community in Alberta are not taking full advantage of the Gladue decision to ensure that responsive and restorative sentencing decisions acknowledge historic and current circumstances of aboriginal offenders.
“Creating the capacity in our staff and an awareness of the legal duty and benefits of Gladue reports will result in greater use of the reports by defense and the judiciary. This means better justice and community outcomes for Aboriginal people specifically and all Albertans generally,” said Jacqueline Schaffter, President and CEO of Legal Aid Alberta.
Media Availability with Jonathan Rudin,
Councillor Laverna McMaster, Siksika Chief & Council Representative
Christine Hutchinson, Legal Aid Alberta lawyer
January 30, 2013
Siksika Business Centre
2:30 to 4:30 pm
Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) at Siksika Nation is a joint program of the Siksika Justice Department and Legal Aid Alberta that provides Siksika Nation members with a wide range of quality legal services that give meaningful consideration to Siksika and Aboriginal culture and values.
A grant from the Department of Justice Canada, Aboriginal Justice Strategy Capacity-Building Fund made this project possible.
About Legal Aid Alberta at Siksika Nation
Legal Aid Alberta and Siksika Justice Services entered into a pilot project in 1999 to provide expanded Duty Counsel Services to Siksika Nation members. At the time it was the first project of its kind in Canada with a First Nation and today remains unique in western Canada. The joint pilot became a full-time program in 2004. Visit www.legalaid.ab.ca and www.siksikanation.com for more information.