Government establishes Indigenous Courtwork Services

Indigenous peoples living in Prince Edward Island can now access more culturally appropriate supports when navigating the criminal justice system. 

To expand the existing services offered through the PEI Mi’kmaq Confederacy’s Indigenous Justice Program, the Province, with support from Justice Canada’s Indigenous Courtworker Program, has partnered with the Confederacy to deliver the Indigenous Courtwork Services to provide Indigenous offenders with culturally appropriate and responsive supports. 

“We look forward to seeing this new position supporting our people, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Our Court Worker will be a front-line, at the elbow advocate, for the Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous people navigating the justice system in Epekwitk. It will complement MCPEI’s Indigenous Justice Program; a program focused on restorative approaches through strong community connections and programming aimed at healing,” said Chief Darlene Bernard, Co-Chair of the Epekwitk Assembly of Councils.

The Indigenous Courtwork Services is part of Indigenous-led justice programs that helps Indigenous peoples take a greater role in the administration of justice within their communities by building on existing community-led programs, with the long-term goal of decreasing over-representation, victimization, crime and incarceration. 

“Indigenous peoples who navigate the criminal justice system need additional supports – ones that are culturally appropriate, that take into account traditions, and recognize intergenerational trauma. It was essential for government to hear from criminal justice partners, Indigenous peoples, organizations supporting Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous offenders on how to establish an Indigenous Courtwork Services that will serve the people of this province, and I am thankful to everyone who contributed to this important initiative.”

- Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General Bloyce Thompson

Media contact:
Vicki Tse
Department of Justice and Public Safety

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