They form part of the Secwepemec or the Shushwap nation and they total to 526 people. Just like other first nations, they too have undergone many injustices dating to the Indian Act Administration including abuse at school (p1).
This group had come up with a Family Violence Program whose creation highlights the importance of community participation in combating crime. It further underpins the fact that government policies often act as barriers especially when they are misinterpreted and thus do not end up benefitting their people (p1).
It has been noted that justice systems that the aborigines create and manage, serve as useful alternatives to the government’s criminal justice system (Casey 1991). Such alternatives include a wider absorption of aboriginal practices and traditions into the justice system or even creating an autonomous aboriginal justice system altogether (p1).
Open-ended interviews were conducted among forty-one participants who were involved in the creation of the Family Violence program. To aid in this research, government support was enlisted in terms of research funds. Representatives of the government were also invited to sit in the community meetings and discussions. The government’s cooperation had to be fully sought (p3).
Other departments not involved in criminal justice were also invited to participate in the aboriginal initiative. Departments such as Indian and Northern Affairs Canada gave funds, as did Health Canada under their corresponding sections pertaining to family and community affairs. The Aboriginal justice department was also invited to the meetings and even to participate in funding. However, the justice department refused to release funds (p4).
Within the community, there were challenges encountered as well. Interviewees reported difficulties of opening up to others about their sexual abuse. Participants feared a lack of confidentiality owing to