Decolonizing through Intersectionality | Indigenous Justice Conference

Our first annual Indigenous Justice Conference brought together key stakeholders from government, justice sectors, as well as, community leaders, educators, and change makers to hold a space of bravery and vulnerability. 

Held over two mornings, the conference provided an opportunity for learning and growth to find common ground and understanding of the inequities within the justice system.

The days focused on the unique experiences of discrimination and oppression lived by Indigenous people at different life stages, from childhood to older generations.

 ” I will be processing what I learned for some time to come, but I am struck by the value of this conference.”

The Justice Circle working group is a small, grassroots group working toward social justice initiatives, and justice related priorities in the urban Indigenous communities of Calgary.

One of these priorities was to highlight the results from a Cultural Competency Survey delivered to justice serving agencies in Calgary a few years ago. The results shed light on the need for consistent, mandatory  training and cultural awareness for justice serving agencies of the impacts of colonization, requirement for deeper understanding of inequities and realities Indigenous people face, especially within the current justice system. There is a lack of information and guidance provided on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and/or Calls to Action within justice serving agencies as well.

In addition, the Justice Circle had the opportunity to highlight a few youth perspectives from the Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth & Iiyika’kimaat Program two Indigenous led youth programs in Calgary. They were asked to respond to the question: “what does Indigenous Justice mean to you?” Their responses were showcased each day in the presentation during the mid-morning breaks.

Indigenous Justice Conference - "Decolonizing Through Intersectionality"
October 27-28, 2020

IJC – October 27, 2020 – Day 1

IJC – October 28, 2020 – Day 2

This Circle is part of a larger coalition – Calgary Indigenous Sharing Network (CISN) that is made up of local stakeholders and community members working together to meet community goals while honouring the diverse, collective voice of the Indigenous people of Mohkins’tsis, which we know as Calgary. The work is grounded by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action.
The Indigenous Justice Conference was supported by the Justice Circle Working group member organizations, Indigenous Services of Canada, and Native Counselling Services of Alberta.

CISN is part of the Supporting Indigenous Sharing Network (SISN), a province-wide coalition initiative led in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton cities, wanting to engage with urban Indigenous communities. These coalitions will share information, discuss current, emerging issues, identify local priorities and needs, continue with community planning and promote collaboration at the local levels.


Graphic Recording of our Conference at the top was created by: 

Aaron Russell, Media Producer. E:

More information about Aaron.

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