TORONTO, March 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is funding another five years of its Aboriginal Justice Strategy, which enhances legal aid services aimed at addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in the justice system.
"The Aboriginal Justice Strategy allows LAO to further target our services where they are needed the most," says John McCamus, LAO's Chair. "A part of this strategy includes meeting with Aboriginal stakeholders across the province to discuss potential opportunities for expanding culturally-appropriate, localized legal aid services."
Through its renewed strategy, LAO will implement services to Aboriginal clients, including:
- free specialized legal services in Gladue courts in Toronto, London, Sarnia and, most recently, Brantford
- funding for the award-winning Baamsedaa (Let's Walk Together) program in Sarnia, which acknowledges the reality of mistrust and apprehension, and provides outreach and support so that those seeking justice can access it
- new legal aid advice clinics opening on reserves across Ontario
- new Aboriginal justice workers in Sarnia and Hamilton
- new website providing Aboriginal-related news and resources for lawyers and clients
LAO plans to continue service enhancements to Aboriginal clients in the coming months and welcomes feedback from stakeholders on proposed improvements.
LAO's Aboriginal Justice Strategy is part of a larger strategy to promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals.
SOURCE: Legal Aid Ontario
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