The Calgary Indigenous Court (CIC) was established on September 4, 2019, to provide a culturally relevant system of justice for Indigenous individuals. As the first provincial Indigenous court in Alberta, the CIC focuses on connecting accused individuals to their cultures and communities.
The CIC seeks to address the disproportionate overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system and create alternatives to jail and prison time by implementing recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report. CIC seeks to resolve matters with the offender participating in a Healing Plan.
The CIC sits in Courtroom 1800 of the Calgary Courts Centre, which is a specialized courtroom specifically designed to support an Indigenous approach to law.
Modelled after a teepee, the courtroom is arranged in a circle, in which judges, offenders, and lawyers sit at the same level so that each party is an equal participant in the judicial process. Courtroom 1800 has an eagle feather for taking oaths, as well as special ventilation to allow for smudging during traditional ceremonies.
Within CIC, there is a Case Management Table that connects the offender to resources, Elders, and culture to create a Healing Plan.
Currently, Homefront is the only victim-serving agency at the Case Management Table. Homefront relays recommendations to the Crown and Case Management Table, which can be included in the Healing Plan; however, Elder recommendations take priority.
Safeguarding victim safety, Homefront shares victim information with the Case Management Table on a case-to-case basis and only if it will increase victim safety.