David Eby, Attorney General, has issued the following statement in support of the new Indigenous court in Williams Lake:
“Our government is committed to addressing the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in the correctional system, which has its roots in systemic discrimination and the impacts of intergenerational trauma from residential schools.
“The Province is working with Indigenous communities to establish Indigenous courts throughout British Columbia. These courts offer alternative sentencing options that honour traditional cultural practices, support rehabilitation and acknowledge the impact the person’s actions have had on others.
“I’m very pleased that Melissa Gillespie, provincial court chief judge, has increased access to these more culturally appropriate approaches in Williams Lake by approving the community’s proposal for an Indigenous court.
“It will support better outcomes for people in conflict with the law and help reduce the over-representation of Indigenous peoples in our jails. It also brings us one step closer to reaching one of our most important goals as a government – building a justice system that better respects and addresses the needs of Indigenous peoples.”