Developing First Nations Courts in Canada: Elders as Foundational to Indigenous Therapeutic Jurisprudence +


  • Shelly Johnson


The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it introduces the concept of Indigenous therapeutic jurisprudence + processes in Canada in which the “plus” represents the critical roles of Elders and spirituality in court proceedings. Second, it identifies and discusses diverse First Nations court models that exist in Canada, including those known as Healing courts, Gladue courts, Aboriginal and tribal courts and their work to address the over-representation of Aboriginal peoples sentenced to custody in Canada. Third, it considers that First Nations courts could benefit through the provision of equitable capital investment and operating funding supports that are currently provided to the alternative Downtown Community Courts and Drug Treatment Court models in Vancouver, British Columbia.


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