Representatives at the opening of the Healing to Wellness Court in St. Paul.</small></em></p>

(From L-R) Assistant Chief Justice C.G Purvis, Chief Justice J. Hunter, Justice I.M.L Ladouceur, Minister of Justice Mickey Amery, Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA Scott Cyr, and Justice D.G Redman at the opening of the Healing to Wellness Court in St. Paul.

Alberta’s government works with the Alberta Court of Justice and Indigenous communities to make sure Indigenous people in Alberta have access to a responsive, culturally relevant justice system. The Alberta Court of Justice, with support from Alberta’s government, has developed a Healing to Wellness Court for St. Paul that will help connect accused people to their cultures and communities through a restorative justice approach, where appropriate. Alberta’s government is providing the necessary resources, which include a designated Crown prosecutor and two judicial clerks.

“We honour the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and celebrate their many achievements and contributions. On National Indigenous People’s Day, we reaffirm our government’s commitment to reconciliation. The St. Paul Healing to Wellness Court supports these commitments, and I look forward to what it will accomplish in the St. Paul community.”

Mickey Amery, Minister of Justice and Attorney General

“This is another step forward in our ongoing commitment to walking the path of reconciliation together with Indigenous communities. This new court will provide Indigenous people in the St. Paul area with an innovative and holistic program that is aligned with their beliefs, cultures and traditions. I am grateful for the Indigenous community members and support agencies helping with this important work.”

Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“This court supports the development of Indigenous Courts to meet the needs of local Indigenous communities. Reparative and restorative courts like this one help not only repair the past but also build a foundation for a more inclusive and just future, promoting lasting peace and understanding. This Healing to Wellness Court is based on traditional Indigenous principles that have been successful elsewhere in the province but tailored to meet the needs of Indigenous peoples living in and around the St. Paul area.”

James Hunter, Chief Justice, Alberta Court of Justice

“Indigenous Healing to Wellness Courts were developed through consultation with the Elders and are based on a spiritual core of ancient Indigenous knowledge. The development of the Healing to Wellness Court focuses on identifying key elements of how we can use our traditional ceremonies and culture to reduce an Indigenous offender’s criminogenic behaviours.”

Ivan Ladouceur, Justice, Alberta Court of Justice

The Court will sit on the second and fourth Friday of every month at the St. Paul courthouse. During pre-court and court sittings, an eagle feather will be present for participants to use during the administration of oaths. Smudging may also take place when requested.

Healing plans will be developed that use Indigenous community support agencies to assist in reintegrating offenders into the community, and where appropriate, encourage them to learn about and reconnect with their Indigenous heritage. When an offender successfully completes the healing plan, a ceremony will be held, during which the individual may have their charges withdrawn, or receive a sentence that is informed by their accomplishments while working to complete their healing plan.

The court will deal with offences approved by the Crown or referred to the court. To protect public safety, offences involving sexual violence, homicide, aggravated assault and robbery cannot be heard in the Healing to Wellness Court. Individuals will be accepted to the court at the pre-plea or post-plea stage of their criminal matter.

Quick facts

  • The St. Paul Healing to Wellness Court will be supported by:
    • dedicated justices who are either Indigenous or experienced in Indigenous restorative justice
    • a designated Crown prosecutor
    • Indigenous legal counsel
    • restorative justice peacemakers
    • traditional knowledge keepers
    • Indigenous court workers
    • community support agencies
    • a judicial clerk and document clerk

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