Driftpile and Woodland receive community justice grants

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

Two Lesser Slave Lake First Nations and the regional FASD network have received funds from the province for community justice.

Driftpile Cree Nation received $25,000 to hire “a contractor to investigate prospects for implementing new community justice programs building on existing local initiatives,” says the Government of Alberta news release.

Woodland Cree First Nation received $25,000 to train “members of the community in the formal use of restorative justice and asset-based community development.”

In Slave Lake, individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) receive support through WJS Canada. This is part of the Northwest Central Alberta FASD Services Network Society.

The Northwest Central Alberta FASD Services Network Society received $25,000 to train “staff in restorative justice, organizing restorative justice circles for youth, and providing FASD assessments for youth.”

Another recipient which may affect the Slave Lake area is the Métis Nation of Alberta. This appears to be the head office in Edmonton, but head office often does province-wide initiatives which includes District 21 (Slave Lake and High Prairie) and District 22 (Wabasca).

The news release says Métis Nation of Alberta received $25,000 to create “a community-driven and culturally sensitive engagement process to advance restorative justice practices in Indigenous, Métis and racialized communities.”

The government gave grants to 39 organizations with a total value of $961,000 through the Alberta Community Justice Grant grants. The maximum for the grants was $25,000. Nine organizations in Calgary received the grant, nine in Edmonton, five in southern Alberta, 11 in central Alberta and five in northern Alberta.

The Slave Lake Youth Justice Committee didn’t apply because it is only a registered society, not a registered charity.

However, one Youth Justice Committee received the grant.

In the news release, Denise Blair, executive director of the Calgary Youth Justice Society says, “Youth Justice Committees across Alberta provide meaningful community-based alternatives to the formal justice system by helping young people to make amends for their actions, access needed resources and contribute in a positive way to their community. This grant will amplify this restorative approach, resulting in immediate and long-lasting benefits for young people, their families, victims, our justice system and our communities.”

Applicants had to be Alberta-based registered not-for-profit organizations and/or registered charities in good standing, First Nation, Métis Nation of Alberta or Metis Settlements, municipalities, or community groups with a designated fiscal agent.

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