Premier David Eby says the establishment of five new Indigenous Justice Centres over the past year will help make the justice system in British Columbia work better for Indigenous people.
Eby says the expansion of the Indigenous-led centres will connect more people with culturally safe legal supports and services.
He says the province is working with the First Nations Justice Council to build safer communities and help change lives.
Eby told a news conference at the new Vancouver centre that B.C. must do things differently to break a cycle in which Indigenous people comprise five per cent of the population but about 30 per cent of people incarcerated.
B.C. now has nine Indigenous Justice Centres, with the latest facilities opening in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Surrey and Kelowna.
Centres were already in operation at Chilliwack, Prince Rupert, Prince George and Merritt, while a virtual justice centre also serves the province.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2024.