Meaning: You will join things together in Unity.
The traditional justice systems of our First Peoples communities involved more holistic processes that focused on looking to resolve the root of the offences instead of direct punishments. In their healing journey, individuals are asked to give back to the communities and/or any parties they have offended, participate in circle processes to help understand the context of the offense, share feelings and thoughts, create a plan of action to start their healing journey, develop a sense of belonging in their community, and participate in addictions or other necessary counselling. This process is not an easy way out. The individual must take full responsibility for their actions, and in some cases, even have to reckon with those they have wronged face-to-face. This process can allow the victim to have closure, ask the questions they need to get a fuller understanding of their situation, receive a real, heart-felt apology and, in many cases, the assurances they need to see that the person has truly changed and has started on a new path.
Restorative justice, like that described above, has proven time and again to be more effective than punitive justice* at lowering recidivism rates, which are the rates at which individuals reoffend after release. Restorative justice is effective because it seeks to lessen the forces that drive individuals to crime, such as poverty, homelessness, unresolved trauma, mental illness, gang involvement, addictions, or learned abusive behaviours; and increase the protective factors, such as sense of belonging, community involvement, access to supports, education, and skills development to keep individuals on track. We have just started implementing these ideals to help some of most at-risk community members in the justice system, and are working to develop a full Diversion program in the future.
*the belief that severe punishment is deserved for crime
Criminal / Drug / Youth Court Support Worker/ Family Court Support Worker : Amanda Trites- firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Dehsahsodre Legal Services works closely with the other services that are provided within The Healing of The Seven Generations to provide a holistic and wrap-around set of services for our First People’s (FNMI) and continues to grow with the changing needs for programs.
Our team prides themselves on working closely with the mainstream organizations that are vital to our First Peoples in their journey through the Justice system. We believe in providing a full circle wrap-around approach within our community. This approach allows our team to work with our community members from the beginning of their journey and along their path. We utilize a trauma informed and restorative justice approach within our services.
Our Court Support Program – helps individuals involved in all five courts (Criminal, Mental Health, Drug, Youth, and Family) of the justice system. We offer advocacy and mediation to ensure First Peoples can better access the justice system and have a range of other supports to assist those wanting to start their healing journey.
Services provided by Dehsahsodre:
- Healing Lodge Intakes/Referrals
- Assistance with Legal Aid
- Filling out Filing Legal Documents
- Referrals to Legal Representation
- Walkthrough of Court Processes
- Understanding Your Charges and What Happens Next
- Knowing Your Rights
- Gladue Principles
- Gladue Letters & Statements
- Gladue Reports
- Traditional Counseling
- Private Gladue Reports (public funder coming soon)
- Status Cards Applications
- Name Change Forms
- Family Custody Issues
- Family Court
- Child Protection
- Family and Children Services Support
- Family and Children Services Visitation Location
- Drop Off Location for Visitations
- Healing Circles
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Eagle Feather Available for Court Hearings
- Information and Training on First people’s (FNMI) issues and Legislation for Lawyers, Justices, Crown, and Court Workers.
- Mental Health supports and referrals
- Addictions support and referrals
- Bail Program (coming soon)
- Diversion Program (coming soon)
We currently have 2 Criminal Court Support Workers who work in all types of criminal court including: Domestic Violence Court, Youth Court, Drug Court, Mental Health Court, Indigenous Peoples Court/ Gladue Court, Bail Court, Trial Court, and Video Court in both the Waterloo region as well as the Guelph-Wellington region.
Our Family Court Support worker is available to help in all forms and levels of Family court including: provincial, superior, unified, child protection, F&CS, ADR. Our FCS is available to meet and attend any appointment with Family and Children Service, and can assist in requesting an ADR or Healing Circle as well as hosting them. Our staff work with these supports in both the Waterloo region and the Guelph-Wellington region
Our Certified Gladue Writer is available to write Gladue report for the Courts (paid for by the client at this time). Government funded reports will be available soon.
Traditional Counselors are a key part in our program, and we have a male and female elder available for these sessions. These individuals can help with guidance, understanding and traditional methods to help guide you along your journey.
All of our staff are trained in trauma-informed practices and restorative justice practices. They are all available to help guide you through the court process, as well as guide you in filling out court papers and how to file them. Our staff has worked tirelessly to build relationships with the lawyers within the region to assist you with your journey and providing you with the best support possible.
Referral Form for agencies and lawyers Click Here
Please check out the following links for our other supports and programs: