Akwesasne Community Justice Program

Mission Statement:

The Akwesasne Community Justice Program are dedicated to promoting Mohawk (Kaiahnerakowa) approach to deal with justice concerns of all Akwesasronon.
Goals:

  • To enable the Mohawks of Akwesasne to re-assert their traditional practices with respect to the conduct of their people;
  • To encourage peace and harmony by resolving disputes and conflicts on the territory of Akwesasne and thereby enable the Mohawks of Akwesasne to grow stronger and more united;
  • To facilitate the greater involvement of the Mohawks of Akwesasne in the Administration of Justice;
  • To restore a greater degree of responsibility to the Akwesasne Community for the conduct of the people who come in conflict with justice systems both on and off the territory of Akwesasne;
  • To provide an aboriginal alternative to the mainstream court process which respects the basic tenets of the Kaiahnerakowa responsibility for their conduct both on and off the territory of Akwesasne, to be accountable for their conduct by becoming active in rectifying the wrong which they have caused and to address the underlying problems which may have contributed to their conflict with the justice system;
  • To reduce over time the rate at which Mohawks of Akwesasne are convicted of offences committed both on and off the territory of Akwesasne;
  • To contribute to a reduction in the workload of the Akwesasne Mohawk Court and the Provincial courts in Cornwall, Ontario and Valleyfield, Quebec and thereby to enable the courts to focus on more serious offences.

Objectives:

  • To continue and expand the work of the Community Neh Kanikonriio Council (Neh-Kanikonriio means “Good Mind”) which hears cases diverted to the program by the local Crown Attorneys in Cornwall, ON and Valleyfield, QC pursuant to the protocols attached in Contribution Agreement or diverted by the Akwesasne Mohawk Court;
  • To continue and expand the work of the Community Neh Kanikonriio Council which, when a Justice of the Ontario Court of sentence and the request’s that an “Old Ways” hearing be conducted, reports to and makes recommendations to the court as to an appropriate sentence through the probation office and to explore the expansion of the “Old Way’s” approach to the courts in Quebec;
  • To continue and enhance mediation services in Family & Child Custody disputes which are offered through the Akwesasne Justice Department;
  • To explore the feasibility of the Community Neh Kanikonriio Council or some other mechanism at Akwesasne undertaking the following additional functions:
    • Adjudication and sentencing with respect to charges laid pursuant to Akwesasne Community Law;
    • Pre-charge diversion cases referred by Akwesasne Mohawk Police Services and;
    • Diversion of charges against Mohawks of Akwesasne in which the incident occurred off the territory of Akwesasne and the victim is a non-aboriginal person.
  • To explore the feasibility of the Akwesasne Justice Department undertaking mediation/arbitration services in civil disputes between Mohawks of Akwesasne.

Programs and Services

  • Diversion
  • Neh Kanikonriio Council
  • Youth Court Worker
  • Youth Reintegration Worker
  • Community Service Monitor