FORT ST. JOHN -- Peace River Justice, an Indigenous entity focused on Tribal Justice Strategies, is aiming to establish a Restorative Justice Program in the Peace Region.

They will be opening a new division in the Peace Region. According to Peace River Justice, the program will greatly benefit municipalities such as Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Northern B.C. Tribal Nations.

They presented the idea Monday at a council meeting in Fort St. John in hopes for the city to participate in the project.

The program aims to address public safety, victim healing, autonomy, youth intervention, and Indigenous well-being. They will offer services to both indigenous and non-indigenous communities. There will be restitution circles to address crimes, peacemaking circles, healing circles and crime prevention. They will offer recidivism programs to decrease re-offenders as well as a sentencing board/panel. Services will be available in person and online.

Peace River Justice is looking for volunteers who will receive honorariums, funding and community support. They say there will be limited provincial funding as well as funding from Ingenious sources. They will also be looking for people to fill ongoing paid operational positions.

“Restorative justice will reduce the costs and strains on the criminal justice system [and] work diligently in crime prevention and youth intervention initiatives, which is often an additional expense that stretches beyond the basic scope of restorative justice,” says the team.