August 29, 2019
Joint news release with the Council of Yukon First Nations and Government of Yukon
The Council of Yukon First Nations has begun to administer the Gladue Report Writing Pilot Project, taking over from the Yukon Legal Services Society, a non-profit organization also known as Legal Aid. The transfer took place August 1, officially putting the project into the hands of Yukon First Nations.
The Government of Yukon began funding the pilot project in February of 2018 with $530,000 to formalize the Gladue report-writing program and to standardize the reports, which judges consider when sentencing First Nations offenders. It is overseen by an eight-member Gladue Management Committee, made up of representatives from Yukon First Nations, the Government of Yukon and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
The project is intended to support the preparation of up to 35 Gladue reports annually, as well as training of new report writers. Two Gladue Report Writer training sessions have been held since the start of the program and mentorships are underway to increase the roster. A report template has also been developed and serves as a guide for Gladue reports. The Council of Yukon First Nations will begin outreach and education in the communities regarding Gladue this fall to bring awareness and understanding of the pilot.
A comprehensive evaluation of the program will be carried out as the project progresses.
Gladue reports are an important part of reconciliation with First Nations and provide the court with culturally relevant information for sentencing First Nations offenders. Our government is very pleased to see the progress that has been made with the Gladue Report Writing Pilot Project, and we look forward to the Council of Yukon First Nations expanding the project across the territory.
– Minister of Justice Tracy-Anne McPhee
Administering the Gladue Pilot Project is an important opportunity for Yukon First Nations to demonstrate leadership and to ensure sentencing judges have the information they need to understand the systemic factors behind First Nations’ overrepresentation in jails and prisons.
– Council of Yukon First Nations Grand Chief Peter Johnston
- The goal of Gladue reports is to reduce the overrepresentation of Indigenous persons involved in the criminal justice system.
- Gladue reports include in-depth information on First Nation offenders’ personal circumstances, including systemic factors which may have contributed to their criminal behaviour, such as the effects of residential school, systemic discrimination, economic and social disadvantages, intergenerational loss, violence and trauma. The reports also include information on possible sentencing alternatives.
- Prior to the launch of this pilot project Yukon did not have a formal Gladue report writing program, resulting in Gladue reports being provided to the court in an ad hoc and inconsistent manner.
- In Yukon, four Gladue reports have been written so far in the fiscal year 2019–20, 16 in 2018–19 and 23 in 2017-18.
- Yukon has three qualified Gladue writers and four under mentorship.
- The Council of Yukon First Nations has provided yearly training sessions for new Gladue writers since 2017 and will continue to provide the training on a yearly basis.
Communications, Council of Yukon First Nations
867-393-9200 ext. 9223