||Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto was established February 21, 1990. ALST was formed following a needs assessment by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto in the mid-1980s. The Centre had been operating legal-related programs for Aboriginal people in Toronto but concluded an agency dedicated to this issue was needed.
To strengthen the capacity of the Aboriginal community and its citizens to deals with justice issues and provide Aboriginal controlled and culturally based justice alternatives.
We seek a community which deals with justice issues in an assertive, constructive and respectful way.
A community which provides support and guidance to its citizens when they need to interact with the justice system.
A community involved in developing and implementing justice initiatives and alternatives which are culturally based and community controlled.
A community where our youth have the opportunities and abilities to deal with justice issues affecting them.
A community where its citizens have minimum exposure to the existing legal system and are less vulnerable to acts of aggression, of racism and ignorance of who we are.
A community which resolves its conflicts internally with minimal need for outside involvement.
A community which promotes a positive environment related to justice issues - an environment based on mutual understandings with non-aboriginal groups/services such as schools, police, and other enforcement agencies.
A community where its agencies work together to ensure justice and related services and issues are provided in holistic and integrated way.
A community where its citizens have the confidence and self-esteem to deal with issues in a constructive way.
Aboriginal individuals require equitable treatment in the justice system, access to the legal and related resources within the justice system as well as understanding of the system and their options.
The support required includes advocacy in all areas of the law as well as alternatives which can break the cycles of recidivism and dependency which is all too prevalent. These alternatives are more effective when they are community controlled and are based on the traditional cultural norms and values of the Aboriginal community.
It is necessary to re-introduce community controlled and culturally based justice alternatives by ensuring community involvement in the process and by integrating justice related services with complementary programs within the Aboriginal community.
The Law Foundation of Ontario’s “Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship”
ALST is pleased to announce that Kimberly Murray, our Executive Director, has been awarded a Community Leadership in Justice Fellowship in conjunction with the Law Foundation of Ontario and Ryerson University. For more information on this fellowship please click here.
Our most recent annual report.
ALST thanks our funders:
The Department of Justice (Canada)
The Ministry of the Attorney General (Ontario)
The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Ontario)
Legal Aid Ontario
Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training