The research published here is intended to broaden the scope of public legal education and information available to and about Aboriginal people in Alberta.  We will be continually adding new information, as the significant Aboriginal legal issues are constantly broadening and changing. 




Justice Harry S. LaForme, a leading expert on Aboriginal law in Canada and the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on residential schools, explores the impact of the Canadian justice system on Aboriginal people in a paper entitled 'The Justice System in Canada: Does It Work for Aboriginal People?' The paper was published in the Fall 2005 issue of Indigenous Law Journal (Vol. 4, no. 1).


Since 1993, the territory of Nunavut has been assisting communities in taking greater responsibility for crime victims and offenders with the implementation of the Community Justice Program, a program that places great emphasis on prevention and healing at the community level. The Review of the Nunavut Community Justice Program: Final Report provides a thorough examination of the program’s effectiveness in achieving real and lasting restorative justice for its community members.

Review of the Nunavut Community Justice Program: Final Report  <

The principles of consultation state that the Crown must provide any First Nation potentially affected by a government decision or act of legislation with full information, and that the Crown must ensure that its members are thoroughly informed of the practices and views of the nation or nations in question by way of meaningful and reasonable consultation. This section and the accompanying podcast (narrated by Winston Wuttunee) take a look at the relationships between government, industry and First Nations from a First Nations community perspective.

More Information on Duty to Consult <-www.BearPaw


This literature review looks at whether the general public understands technical language it comes across (legislation, medical, taxation, etc.) and whether there is any evidence to suggest that minorities have a greater or lesser understanding of such language. 

The review examined three primary methods of evaluation: readability, comprehension studies and literacy rates. Selected studies use readability tests, paraphrasing, questionnaires and interviews as methodologies for testing comprehensibility.

The research reaches the general conclusion that the general public does not understand technical language, and that factors such as a lack of literacy and education affect the public’s understanding of technical language. Since these factors are more prevalent among minority groups, one can infer that minorities experience greater difficulty in understanding technical language. Studies also suggest that while redrafting language to be more simple improves comprehension, it does not perfect it, suggesting that language is not the only factor affecting comprehension. 

Understanding Technical Language: A Literature Review (2007)
Click Here to download a PDF version. <- www.BearPaw


The purpose of this research project was to determine the current legal education needs of Aboriginal people in Alberta through province-wide interviews with frontline justice workers.

Legal Education Needs Survey 2006-2007 <- (www.BearPaw