MNO Advocacy Program
The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Community Wellbeing Branch is pleased to offer a variety of services through the MNO Advocacy Program. The MNO Advocacy Program is a comprehensive and culturally responsive program designed to address the needs of Métis citizens and communities through a restorative justice approach. Grounded in the principles of healing, accountability, and community engagement, this program aims to foster reconciliation, restore relationships, and promote holistic well-being within Métis communities.
Restorative justice, as implemented in the Métis context, is a philosophy that recognizes the unique history, culture, and needs of the Métis people. It acknowledges the deep interconnections between individuals, families, and communities, and seeks to repair the harm caused by criminal behaviour or conflicts through inclusive and meaningful processes.
Through workshops, seminars, and accessible resources, we aim to increase awareness and comprehension of legal rights, responsibilities, and processes. By fostering legal literacy among Métis people, our Indigenous Justice Liaison Coordinator program strives to strengthen the ability of MNO citizens and communities to engage in informed decision-making, protect their interests, and promote access to justice.
MNO citizens facing a legal issue can contact the MNO Advocacy Program to receive support through referrals to external legal resources as well as internal restorative justice programs. Through the generosity of our funding partners, including the Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO), Pro Bono Ontario (PBO), Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), and Department of Justice Canada, the MNO Advocacy Program allows the MNO to offer the following to MNO citizens, free of charge:
- Access to alternatives to the criminal justice system through restorative justice programs;
- Access to legal information, referrals and education to gain a fulsome understanding of various areas of legal inquiry;
- Access to an Indigenous Court Worker for individuals in region 8;
- Access to justice aftercare programming for individuals recently or currently involved in the criminal justice system.
Justice@metisnation.org or call 1-800-263-4889 Ext. 7
It is important to note that the MNO Advocacy Program cannot provide legal advice, nor can we cover any legal costs.
Indigenous Justice Liaison Program
The Indigenous Justice Liaison program helps MNO citizens and self-identifying Indigenous people who are seeking legal assistance or experiencing a legal issue in any area of law.
When a legal inquiry is made to the Advocacy Program, the Indigenous Justice Liaison Coordinator is the first point of contact and will follow up with the individual to provide:
- Legal education, information and resources in the area of legal inquiry
- Assistance with applications for Legal Aid Ontario or other avenues for legal advice.
- Referrals to internal MNO Advocacy programs and internal MNO programming
- Referrals to qualified and trusted external agencies or organizations
This program is tailored to meet the unique legal needs of each individual.
Indigenous Criminal/Family Court Worker Program
This program is available to clients going to court in Region 8 (Brampton, Oshawa, Newmarket, Toronto courts) and can facilitate in-court and out-of-court support to clients faced with criminal or family law matters. The Indigenous Court Worker cannot provide legal advice but can provide information to clients about their charges, rights, and options; attend court with clients in a supportive capacity; create bail release plans; and act as an advocate on the client’s behalf. The Indigenous Criminal/Family Court Worker Program can also refer clients to further appropriate resources for their matter or individual needs.
Gladue Aftercare Program
This program, facilitated by the Justice Community Support Specialist, is available to individuals with recent or current involvement in the criminal justice system. The program supports individuals who have undergone diversion, have recently been incarcerated, or who have recently been in contact with the criminal justice system by offering culturally-relevant action plans. The action plan will support access to services by internal MNO programs and external programs/services as required for the participant’s unique healing journey.
Restorative Justice Program
The Métis Nation of Ontario’s Restorative Justice Program is an initiative aimed at promoting healing, reconciliation, and community well-being within Ontario Métis communities. The program is designed to address the harms caused by criminal offences and to provide an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system.
Restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm done to individuals, families, and communities by addressing the underlying causes of criminal behaviour and facilitating dialogue between the offender, victim, and community. The Métis Nation of Ontario’s program adopts a culturally responsive approach to restorative justice, incorporating Métis traditions, values, and customs.
Through the program, the Métis Nation of Ontario seeks to empower Métis individuals who have been involved in the criminal justice system, as well as their families, by providing support, guidance, and opportunities for personal growth and rehabilitation. The program aims to address the root causes of criminal behaviour and create a pathway for positive change and reintegration into the community.
The Restorative Justice Program of the Métis Nation of Ontario can connect you to a range of services, including counseling, mediation, mentoring, cultural activities, and educational programs. It encourages active participation from all parties involved in the restorative justice process and promotes accountability, understanding, and healing. The program also collaborates with various community organizations, justice agencies, and government entities to ensure a holistic and comprehensive approach to restorative justice.
By embracing restorative justice principles, the Métis Nation of Ontario aims to foster a stronger sense of community, promote the well-being of individuals and families, reduce recidivism rates, and contribute to a more just and equitable society. The program recognizes the importance of cultural identity, community connections, and healing as essential components in the process of restoring harmony and balance within Métis communities in Ontario.
Updated: December 3, 2021