British Columbia

Indigenous justice strategy 'to make difference for generations,' says B.C.'s attorney general

Attorney General David Eby says the agreement with the First Nations Justice Council is historic and will make a difference to Indigenous people for generations.

Indigenous people are over-represented in prisons across the country

Attorney General David Eby described the new First Nations justice strategy as a 'historic initiative.' (Mike Mcarthur/CBC)

British Columbia will work with First Nations to restore their legal practices and structures under an agreement signed Friday that aims to reduce the number of Indigenous people sent to jail.

Attorney General David Eby says the agreement with the First Nations Justice Council is historic and will make a difference to Indigenous people for generations.

He says about 30 per cent of inmates in B.C.'s jails and prisons are from First Nations, but they comprise less than four per cent of the province's total population.

Eby says his ministry and the council will work together to implement the strategy, which includes establishing a network of Indigenous justice centres and increasing justice programs in First Nations communities.

It will also increase the number of First Nations people working in the justice system.

Council spokesman Doug White says the justice system is at a breaking point for Indigenous Peoples.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says B.C.'s corrections system will play a critical role in the strategy by participating in Indigenous-led programs to improve how the criminal justice system deals with Aboriginal Peoples.

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