Jan. 9, 2024

Publication News | A Strategy for Achieving Indigenous Justice: A Seven “Rs” Plan

Professor Emerita Kathleen Mahoney has co-authored a chapter with Irwin Cotler.

Justice, Indigenous Peoples, and Canada: A History of Courage and Resilience brings together the work of a number of leading researchers to provide a broad overview of criminal justice issues that Indigenous people in Canada have faced historically and continue to face today. Both Indigenous and Canadian scholars situate current issues of justice for Indigenous peoples, broadly defined, within the context of historical realities and ongoing developments. By examining how justice is defined, both from within Indigenous communities and outside of them, this volume examines the force of Constitutional reform and subsequent case law on Indigenous rights historically and in contemporary contexts. 

Along with Irwin Colter, Professor Emerita Kathleen Mahoney has co-authored the chapter "A Strategy for Achieving Indigenous Justice: A Seven 'Rs' Plan."

When he was elected Prime Minister of Canada in 2003, Paul Martin vowed to make indigenous justice the central commitment of his Government. It fell to the Hon. Irwin Cotler, Attorney General and Minister of Justice to set forth a framework for pursuing indigenous justice. The seven "Rs" of Indigenous justice emerged from those discussions forming a comprehensive, principled, interrelated framework for the Government to follow.

This paper is a discussion of the "seven Rs" - recognition, respect, representation, responsiveness, redress, reconciliation, and renewal - how they correspond with indigenous legal principles and values, how they were applied in the Martin years particularly with respect to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement and how they can continue to be applied into the future.