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Restorative Justice Conference adressses Indigenous over-representation in justice system

Saskatoon Tribal Council Justice department hosted the "Indigenous Justice Ideologies: A Restorative Approach" symposium this week, welcoming guests from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. The three-day event examined mental health and addictions within within a restorative justice ideology. According to STC Justice Director Crystal Laplante, this approach is fundamental to gaining headway with clients, as they have all faced mental health and addiction issues to some degree. Laplante told MBC News, "Justice needs to work hand in hand with mental health, addictions, employment and training and housing. It's all there and we all need to come full circle."

Restorative justice engages offenders through healing and sentencing circles, helping them arrive at proper remorse and solutions that empower them to learn and make better choices with consideration of wider impacts. The process is community-driven and less punitive than traditional justice systems that perpetuate the mental health and addictions cycle, amongst creating additional barriers to success.

Canadian best selling author and trauma and addictions expert Dr. Gabor Mate, presented on childhood trauma and its relation to addiction. Former BC Lions linebacker J.R. LaRose, shared about his upbringing in a home impacted by Residential Schools.

 Read more in MBC News