VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver Community College (VCC) and consulting firm IndiGenius & Associates have partnered to pioneer a credentialed Gladue report writing program from an Indigenous perspective, the first of its kind at a post-secondary institution in Canada.
The part-time certificate program launches in October 2019.
Intended to address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Canada’s criminal justice system, Gladue is a sentencing principle that takes intergenerational traumas and systemic discrimination into account during sentencing.
“It is truly an honour to be part of a journey in instructing and creating curriculum for Gladue training with VCC, but also in helping pave a path for a national standard in Gladue training for our people,” says Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow, Founder & President, IndiGenius & Associates. “Despite a majority of reports being court-ordered, there hasn’t been a program in Canada that has allowed writers to receive a certificate or recognition of credentials to be acknowledged as a professional – until now.”
A Gladue report is an individual’s ‘Sacred Story’. It shares with the courts the personal history and relevant factors that give detail of the individual’s life continuum that could possibly give insight to why he/she became involved in the justice system. This sacred information plays an important role in crafting recommendations in accordance to the individual’s needs to assist the judge in making well-informed decisions. It also plays another crucial role in creating a healing journey for the individual.
Across Canada, courts have identified a demand for certified Gladue report writers as well as common standards and increased funding for Indigenous justice initiatives.
VCC’s Gladue report writing program was offered as a three-month, part-time pilot in 2018, and has now been expanded to a full certificate program designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, First Nations Court workers, Indigenous community members, and anyone interested in writing Gladue reports. The program can be completed in one year and training is delivered at VCC’s Downtown campus and online.
“We are grateful to be part of this collaboration”, says David Wells, Vice President Academic and Applied Research at VCC. “The Gladue report writing program is the perfect opportunity to build capacity within Indigenous communities, reinforce the importance of Indigenization within the post-secondary system, and honour our commitments to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the Indigenous Education Protocol.”
The program advisory committee overseeing the design and development of VCC’s Gladue report writing certificate includes representation from the Legal Services Society of B.C., the Gladue Writers Association of B.C., the Ministry of Public Safety & Solicitor General, MediateBC, and VCC's Indigenous faculty members and Elders.
VCC is committed to addressing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and fulfilling its commitment to the Indigenous Education Protocol through existing services and the development of unique programs.
VCC Continuing Studies’ mission is to connect everyone in our diverse city to high-quality, flexible, and practical learning opportunities with industry practitioners. VCC Continuing Studies offers certificate and diploma programs, industry certifications, and professional development courses that are designed and delivered to develop skills that can be quickly applied to the workplace. Our over 60 program areas teach skills that translate into increased job opportunities for students, based on the need and feedback of Vancouver employers. No matter the area of study, whether it is related to administration, business, design, health, or human services, our expert instructors teach course content so that students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to succeed in today’s workplace.
IndiGenius & Associates was born of the passion to help Indigenous people and encourage a positive change in the justice system possessed by its founder, Mark Marsolais-Nahwegahbow. Mark and his team have extensive experience working with Indigenous people and communities in a range of justice and justice-related contexts. Mark has several staff that work closely with him using a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure Gladue reports are done effectively and efficiently and delivered to the courts in a timely fashion. In addition, Mark has secured many community partnerships across Canada and works closely with others who share a similar interest in Indigenous justice.
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Vancouver Community College
T: 604.871.7000, ext. 7531
IndiGenius & Associates