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Legal Aid Alberta joins fighting the fear of the legal system within the Indigenous community. – CTV News

June 25, 2020

CALGARY — The Calgary Indigenous Court opened in September 2019 and Legal Aid lawyers are still looking for ways to guide First Nations people through the process.

One of the biggest obstacles they’ve encountered is First Nations people’s fear and lack of trust in the legal system.

“When we say it’s a healing court, they need to take responsibility for the offence that happened,” says Jessica Buffalo, Duty Council for the Calgary Indigenous Court. “We understand that there are a lot of issues that get them there before the court, (things like) addiction, poverty, (and) mental health issues. The case management table that sits at the court helps address those issues, so it’s not ongoing and (hopefully) they don’t find themselves in front of the court again.”

These types of specialized courts are better for the justice system because they can address the root issue through an approach rooted in compassion and empathy.

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