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What is the Hazelton Indigenous Court?
The Hazelton Indigenous Court is a criminal sentencing court available to Indigenous individuals living in the Upper Skeena Region who have pled guilty to one or more crimes.
What Does the Hazelton Indigenous Court Do?
The Hazelton Indigenous Court offers participants an opportunity to sit before a judge and panel of Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Elders and share their story and the reason for their appearance before the Court. This provides two unique opportunities to the participants: to be heard and to engage with representatives from their father clan (or another chosen support) as witnesses to their healing plan and supporters in their restorative journey.
The Critical Role of Elders
Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Elders play a critical role at the Court. Their hours of volunteering poured into the development of participants’ healing plans ensure the success of participants’ healing process. These healing plans are designed by Elders and the participant to encourage personal and community healing, responding to the participants’ specific life barriers.
Why Was The Hazelton Indigenous Court Created?
Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en Elders, together with community partners, embarked upon the establishment of the Hazelton Indigenous Court in response to the overrepresentation of incarcerated Indigenous individuals while centering Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en laws.