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Reclaiming Aboriginal Justice, Identity, and Community

Price: $ 31.00 Back

Craig Proulx

240 pages, index, bibliography, paper, 6 x 9, spring, 2003
ISBN 1-895830-21-4 / ISBN13 978-1895830-217

1: Introduction
 The CCP Diversion Program
 Guide to the book

2: Over-representation and New Justice Responses
 Over-representation and Explanations for It
 Program Responses to Over-representation
 Self-Government and New Justice Program Debates

3: Healing, Tradition, and Justice Talk
 Justice Definitions

4: Establishment and Structure of the CCP
 Protocol between Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto and the Toronto Crown Attorney's Office
 Elders and Traditional Teachers Gathering at Birch Island, August 27 - 30, 1991
 The Structure of the CCP

5: CCP Clients and Council Members
 Clients and Stereotypes
 Identity Issues
 Life on the Street
 Clients and the Justice System
 Clients and the Police
 Clients and the Courts
 Clients and Judges
 Clients and Jail and Prison
 The Overall Client Context

6: The CCP: The New Context and an Ideal Hearing
 Diversion Defined
 The New Context
 Client Hearings: The CCP Process Revealed
 The CCP Ideal
 Opening Up the Client

7: Bill's Hearing: Case Study and Analysis
 A Representational Issue
 Bill's Hearing
 "Opening" Bill
 The Pre-decision Council Member Discussion
 The Decision
 Post-hearing Issues

8: Cultural Transformation Through Justice Practice
 Identity Restoration or Transformation
 Pan-Aboriginal Identity and Healing
 Legislative, Judicial, and Anthropological Discourses and Practices: Context, Healing, Meaning, and Identity
 Transformation: Connecting Self-government, Healing, and Identity
 The Intersection of Justice Practices, Identity, and Healing and Its Relevance to Government, the Formal Justice System, and Anthropology

9: Community in the Making
 Rethinking Community
 Definitional Quandaries
 Problems with Spatial Community Definitions
 Conceiving and Practising Community
 Discursive Community
 Organizations and Events Constitute Community
 Responding to Social Problems Defines Community
 The CCP Builds Community
 Community in the Making

10: Summary and Conclusions

Appendix A: Community Council Statistics
Appendix B: Interview Questions Administered to CCP Clients and Council Members
Notes, Bibliography, and Index


Justice for Aboriginal peoples in an urban context is a complex issue, which should involve consideration of healing, tradition, and community, but rarely does. In his analysis of justice issues facing urban Aboriginals, Proulx pays particular attention to the situation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and how the current justice system has failed them. He looks at alternatives to the current system, examining in detail the Community Council Project (CCP), an Aboriginal-run diversion program in Toronto. The analysis of the CCP shows how effective, culturally appropriate, alternative justice mechanisms can provide justice for those not well served by the current system.  Describing and analyzing an alternative way of thinking about crime and justice is at the heart of this timely and far-reaching book.


Proulx shows how justice, healing, and community intersect, drawing on the example of the CCP. He discusses what constitutes the Aboriginal community in Toronto, and how the CCP is playing an important role in shaping and defining the community. Among other issues addressed in the book are: crime causation; Indigenous justice knowledge and practice; healing; changes in tradition and culture; and personal and community ownership and empowerment. This book is an important follow-up to an earlier book in Purich's Aboriginal Issues Series - Justice in Aboriginal Communities: Sentencing Alternatives. This book will be of interest to social scientists, criminologists, legal professionals, policy makers, and legislators, and others who seek to understand how justice policies and practices can positively or negatively affect urban Aboriginal lives.

Dr. Craig Proulx is a Métis person who holds a doctorate in anthropology from McMaster University. He specializes in Aboriginal justice issues, and has coordinated an alternative justice program in the eight Métis settlements in northern Alberta. He teaches in the Department of Anthropology, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB.

Price: $ 31.00 Back

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