Community Justice Committees provide an alternative to the the formal criminal justice system for Nunavummiut. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

The new year brings an opportunity for Nunavummiut to become members of justice committees in Kimmirut, Clyde River and Cape Dorset. Individuals who have knowledge and experience dealing with social issues, restorative justice and Inuit societal values are encouraged to apply.

Justice committees in Nunavut use a community-based justice approach to help victims of crimes and work with offenders. These committees provide an alternative for the formal criminal justice system by actively engaging members impacted by crime. Traditional knowledge and healing practices are applied to help individuals heal within the community.

“The Community Justice Committees (CJCs) are instrumental in supporting offenders in the restorative justice process by repairing relationships and restoring harmony in the community or the family,” said Richard Leblanc, director of community justice.

However, the CJCs continue to struggle with recruiting an adequate number of volunteers, he admitted.

According to Leblanc, efforts are being made to increase both recruitment and training for committee members.

“We are working to give more support and provide more on-site community visits to the committees from the community justice outreach workers,” explained Leblanc.

“We receive capacity building funds from Justice Canada that target and financially support community justice specialists to fly to the communities and give specific training that the committees request.”

Individuals who desire to become committee members will be provided with training either in or outside the community. All committee members are volunteers and will receive honoraria for attending regular meetings.

All three communities will be accepting applications until Jan.16.

If you are interested please contact the Kimmirut’s Uqaujiigiatiit Justice Committee at 867-939-2001 or e-mail Barbara Sagiaktuk at bsagiaktuk@gov.nu.ca.

For Clyde River’s Sulugaaq Justice Committee call 867-924-6565 or e-mail Joshua Akavak at joshua_akavak@ilisaqsivik.ca.

For Cape Dorset’s Inirqtirijiit Justice Committee call 867-897-3642 or e-mail Uiviru Tapaungai at utapaungai@gov.nu.ca.

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Rajnesh Sharma

Rajnesh Sharma is a Canadian journalist, who has extensively travelled the world to experience various cultures. She has lived and worked internationally over the past decade, meeting and interviewing...