Commissioner's Directive

Aboriginal Offenders

PURPOSE

APPLICATION

Applies to all staff

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Senior Deputy Commissioner will develop guidelines regarding Pathways Initiatives that must be followed.
  2. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will ensure delivery and monitor results of correctional interventions and programs that meet the identified needs of Aboriginal offenders pursuant to section 80 of the CCRA.
  3. The Director General, Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate, will:
    1. establish a National Aboriginal Advisory Committee, chaired by the Commissioner, to provide advice on the provision of correctional services to Aboriginal offenders pursuant to section 82 of the CCRA
    2. ensure operational practices and interventions respect the specific needs of Aboriginal offenders in the Continuum of Care (see Annex B)
    3. authorize the implementation of Pathways Initiatives and ensure regular reviews occur.
  4. The Regional Deputy Commissioner may:
    1. establish, chair and maintain a Regional Aboriginal Advisory Committee to provide advice on the provision of correctional services to Aboriginal offenders pursuant to section 82 of the CCRA
    2. administer agreements with Aboriginal communities
    3. provide Aboriginal communities with the opportunity to submit a plan and participate in release and reintegration planning.
  5. The Regional Administrator, Aboriginal Initiatives, will:
    1. consult with Aboriginal communities, advisory committees and/or Councils of Elders for the purposes of:
      1. locating Elders/Spiritual Advisors to attend to the spiritual needs of offenders
      2. entering into contracts for the services of Elders/Spiritual Advisors
    2. monitor Pathways Initiatives to ensure the directions provided in GL 702-1 – Establishment and Operation of Pathways Initiatives are followed.
  6. The Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure that Elders/Spiritual Advisors are afforded the same status as Chaplains, pursuant to section 83 of the CCRA
    2. ensure offenders are provided with the services of an Elder/Spiritual Advisor, in consultation with the Regional Administrator, Aboriginal Initiatives
    3. provide the Elder/Spiritual Advisor with appropriately equipped facilities for the provision of confidential spiritual services
    4. ensure that an Elder/Spiritual Advisor or an Elder’s helper of the same gender as the offender is available for ceremonies
    5. ensure that the unique circumstances of the Aboriginal offender, as described in the definition of the Aboriginal social history, as well as culturally appropriate/restorative options are given due consideration in the decision making process 
    6. designate indoor and outdoor space to conduct traditional ceremonies and spiritual activities
    7. promote and facilitate regular traditional ceremonies, including smudging with ceremonial medicines
    8. consult with the Elder/Spiritual Advisor or, in the absence of the Elder, the Regional Administrator, Aboriginal Initiatives:
      1. prior to making decisions regarding ceremonies, ceremonial objects, traditional medicines or sacred grounds within the institution
      2. to establish procedures for the collection and storage of ceremonial objects, and traditional and ceremonial medicines
    9. ensure financial and human resources are provided for the gathering of ceremonial objects outside the institution
    10. ensure staff working with Aboriginal offenders are culturally competent relative to their role and have an understanding of the Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model
    11. authorize giveaways and offerings, in the context of traditional Aboriginal protocols and ceremonies pursuant to Annex E
    12. authorize traditional food and non-traditional food to be used in a ceremony or celebration pursuant to Annex F
    13. ensure Inuit offenders are provided country food pursuant to Annex F
    14. ensure the cross-gender protocol is adhered to during cultural ceremonies
    15. ensure the assistance of an interpreter is provided to offenders who do not speak either of the official languages, pursuant to subsection 27(4) of the CCRA, for any hearing or for the purposes of understanding materials provided to the offender.
  7. The District Director will ensure:
    1. offenders have reasonable access to Aboriginal-specific resources in the community
    2. staff working with Aboriginal offenders are culturally competent relative to their role and have an understanding of the Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model
    3. the assistance of an interpreter is provided to offenders who do not speak either of the official languages, pursuant to subsection 27(4) of the CCRA, for any hearing or for the purposes of understanding materials provided to the offender.
  8. The Elder/Spiritual Advisor will:
    1. provide counselling, teachings and ceremonial services
    2. provide advice to the Institutional Head when required regarding ceremonies, ceremonial objects, traditional
    3. as a member of the Case Management Team, participate in case conferences as required
  9. The Aboriginal Liaison Officer will:
    1. document Elder/Spiritual Advisor Reviews (if required by the Elder/Spiritual Advisor) and share them with the offender
    2. take a supportive role with respect to cultural awareness and a liaison role with respect to general services to offenders and staff
    3. as a member of the Case Management Team, provide the team with information regarding the offender’s participation in a healing path
    4. liaise with Aboriginal organizations or communities, when required, for assistance in maintaining supplies of traditional medicines required by the Elder/Spiritual Advisor.
  10. The Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer will:
    1. deliver Aboriginal correctional programs and complete reports in accordance with CD 726 – Correctional Programs
    2. as a member of the Case Management Team, provide the team with information regarding the offender’s participation in Aboriginal correctional programs.
  11. The Parole Officer will:
    1. incorporate comments provided by an Aboriginal offender’s Case Management Team into the Correctional Plan and Correctional Plan Updates as required
    2. as needed, request that an Elder/Spiritual Advisor Review be completed normally 60 days prior to the requirement to update an offender’s Correctional Plan.
  12. The Aboriginal Community Development Officer will:
    1. support and promote involvement of Aboriginal communities in release planning pursuant to section 84 of the CCRA
    2. as a member of the Case Management Team, liaise with the team in the development of release plans under section 84 of the CCRA for offenders being considered for release on parole.
  13. The Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer will:
    1. liaise with Aboriginal organizations, agencies or communities, when required, for assistance in maintaining resources and contacts for Aboriginal offenders who are being released to the community
    2. provide support to offenders being released on statutory release who are utilizing a release plan under section 84 of the CCRA
    3. provide support and guidance to all Aboriginal offenders upon release and support their transition to the community and services.

PROCEDURES

Elder/Spiritual Advisor Reviews – Cultural Interventions

  1. The Aboriginal Liaison Officer will meet with offenders who have expressed an interest in following a healing path, at any point in their sentence, will refer them to an Elder/Spiritual Advisor, and will ensure that the offender’s Parole Officer is made aware of this interest, so that it is documented in the Correctional Plan and future updates/reviews.
  2. The Aboriginal Liaison Officer will explain his/her role, the role of the Elder/Spiritual Advisor and advise the offender of culturally specific interventions available.
  3. The Elder/Spiritual Advisor Review will be documented by the Aboriginal Liaison Officer, pursuant to Annex C, within the following timeframes:
    1. intake – 40 days from referral and prior to completion of the Correctional Plan when an Elder/Spiritual Advisor is available on intake
    2. progress – after six months of involvement with the Elder/Spiritual Advisor if there is new information to include
    3. decision – 30 days from request by the Parole Officer if it has been determined by the Elder/Spiritual Advisor and/or Aboriginal Liaison Officer that there is new information to record.
  4. The Parole Officer/Primary Worker will incorporate healing components into the Correctional Plan (pursuant to CD 705-6 – Correctional Planning and Criminal Profile and CD 710-1 – Progress Against the Correctional Plan) in consultation with the Elder/Spiritual Advisor, Aboriginal Liaison Officer, offender and other members of the Case Management Team as required.
  5. Pathways Initiatives will be implemented pursuant to GL 702-1 – Establishment and Operation of Pathways Initiatives.

Aboriginal Wellness Committee

  1. If Aboriginal offenders propose a wellness committee to pursue their cultural needs and interests, a protocol document will be submitted to the Institutional Head outlining the terms and objectives of the committee, pursuant to Annex D.
  2. The Institutional Head and Elder/Spiritual Advisor will review the above-noted protocol document within 30 days.
  3. If approved, the protocol document will remain valid for two years unless otherwise indicated by the Institutional Head.

ENQUIRIES

  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters
    Email: Gen-NHQPolicy-Politi@csc-scc.gc.ca

Commissioner,

Original Signed by:
Don Head

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances
SOP 087 – Official Languages
CD 259 – Exposure to Second Hand Smoke
CD 345 – Fire Safety
CD 566 – Framework for the Prevention of Security Incidents
CD 566-3 – Inmate Movement
CD 566-4 – Inmate Counts and Security Patrols
CD 566-7 – Searching of Inmates
CD 566-8 – Searching of Staff and Visitors
CD 566-9 – Searching of Cells, Vehicles and Other Areas
CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders
CD 568-5 – Management of Seized Items
CD 577 – Staff Protocol in Women Offender Institutions
CD 580 – Discipline of Inmates
CD 700 – Correctional Interventions
CD 701 – Information Sharing
GL 702-1 – Establishment and Operation of Pathways Initiatives
CD 705 – Intake Assessment Process and Correctional Plan Framework
CD 705-1– Preliminary Assessments and Post-Sentence Community Assessments
CD 705-3 – Immediate Needs Identification and Admission Interviews
CD 705-5 – Supplementary Intake Assessments
CD 705-6 – Correctional Planning and Criminal Profile
CD 705-7 – Security Classification and Penitentiary Placement
CD 710 – Institutional Supervision Framework
CD 710-1 – Progress Against the Correctional Plan
CD 710-2 – Transfer of Inmates
CD 710-3 – Temporary Absences
CD 710-5 – Judicial Review of Parole Ineligibility
CD 710-6 – Review of Inmate Security Classification
CD 710-7 – Work Releases
CD 712 – Case Preparation and Pre-Release Framework
CD 712-1 – Pre-Release Decision Making
CD 712-2 – Detention
CD 712-3 – Parole Board of Canada Reviews
CD 712-4 – Release Process
CD 712-5 – Pre-Release Case Preparation for Provincial/Territorial Offenders and Federal Offenders Incarcerated in Provincial/Territorial Facilities
CD 715 – Community Supervision Framework
CD715-1 – Community Supervision
CD 715-2 – Post-Release Decision Process
CD 715-3 – Community Assessments
CD 726 – Correctional Programs
GL 726-1 – National Standards for Correctional Programs
GL 726-2 – National Correctional Programs Referral Guidelines
CD 760 – Leisure Activities
SOP 760 – Arts and Crafts
CD 767 – Ethnocultural Offenders: Services and Interventions
CD 880 – Food Services

Fire Safety Manual
Manual on Religious and Spiritual Accommodation
Religious Diet Requirements Guide - July 2012

Parole Board of Canada Policy Manual

DEFINITIONS

Aboriginal: Indian, Inuit or Métis.

Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model: a care model that provides specific approaches to address the needs of Aboriginal offenders.

Aboriginal social history: the various circumstances that have affected the lives of most Aboriginal people. Considering these circumstances may result in alternate options or solutions and applies only to Aboriginal offenders (not to non-Aboriginal offenders who choose to follow the Aboriginal way of life). These circumstances include the following (note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • effects of the residential school system
  • sixties scoop into the adoption system
  • effects of the dislocation and dispossession of Inuit people
  • family or community history of suicide
  • family or community history of substance abuse
  • family or community history of victimization
  • family or community fragmentation
  • level or lack of formal education
  • level of connectivity with family/community
  • experience in the child welfare system
  • experience with poverty
  • loss of or struggle with cultural/spiritual identity.

Case Management Team: the individuals involved in managing an offender’s case, which include at a minimum the Parole Officer and the offender, and in institutions, the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker.

Ceremonial objects: objects deemed to be sacred, spiritual or ceremonial in nature. Also referred to as “personal spiritual effects”.

Country food: more than just a tradition for Inuit, it is the embodiment of the connection Inuit have to the land and its bounty. It is also a connection to the traditions of Inuit ancestors. Feasts are a celebration of Inuit values: cooperation, sharing and spirituality. Country food is a part of the Inuit identity and a dietary requirement of the Inuit people. It is all harvested wildlife and comprised primarily of seal, whale, caribou and arctic char.

Cross-gender protocol: when Elders/Spiritual Advisors are conducting ceremonies with offenders of the opposite gender, they will have helpers of the same gender as the offender, in accordance with the protocol of each Elder/Spiritual Advisor. For instance, when a male Elder/Spiritual Advisor performs a ceremony for female offenders, there should always be a female helper (who is not an offender) or female staff in attendance. Ceremonies will not be performed alone by Elders/Spiritual Advisors to offenders of the opposite gender.

Cultural ceremonies: the purpose of a ceremony will depend on the Elder/Spiritual Advisor and his/her teaching as there are many reasons for attending or requesting a ceremony. Cultural ceremonies can include, but are not limited to, the following: smudging, sweat lodge ceremonies, traditional pow-wows, changing of the seasons ceremonies, sundance ceremonies, round dances, healing or sacred circles, pipe ceremonies, shaking tent ceremonies, potlatches, longhouse, fasts, feasts, moon ceremonies, tea ceremonies, waterbath ceremonies, PakKUjalitauvvik (Inuit candle light ceremony), return of the sun ceremonies, and return of the community hunt ceremonies.

Cultural competence: ability of individuals and systems to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures, classes, races, faiths and ethnic backgrounds in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the cultural differences and similarities, the worth of individuals, families and communities and protects and preserves the dignity of each.

Elder’s helper: the position’s main function is to assist the Elder/Spiritual Advisor with ceremonies. Duties are functionally directed by the Elder/Spiritual Advisor. This title can be applied to an offender, contractor, staff member or a member of the community.

Elder/Spiritual Advisor : any person recognized by an Aboriginal community as having knowledge and understanding of the traditional culture of the community, including the physical manifestations of the culture of the people and their spiritual and social traditions and ceremonies. Knowledge and wisdom, coupled with the recognition and respect of the people of the community, are the essential defining characteristics of an Elder/Spiritual Advisor. Elders/Spiritual Advisors are known by many other titles depending on the region or local practices. An example is Angakuk who is an Inuit shaman or medicine man. (This definition does not apply to inmates who may have ceremonial knowledge.)

Four aspects of self : the interconnected physical, emotional, spiritual and mental components/domains that make up the individual, according to the Aboriginal worldview. The model may vary according to region or Elder/Spiritual Advisor.

Healing component: a component of the Correctional Plan that allows for consideration to be given to the circumstances and background of Aboriginal offenders following a healing path.

Healing Lodge/Healing Village: a minimum or multi-level security facility operated by CSC in cooperation with an Aboriginal community. These facilities may or may not be located on First Nations’ reserve land. Healing Lodges may also be facilities run by the Aboriginal community under section 81 of the CCRA when approved by the Minister. 

Healing path/journey: a traditional Aboriginal healing process based on culture and beliefs, which encompasses a life-long spiritual, emotional and/or psychological journey whereby one strives to be in harmony with all living things on Mother Earth. The telling of stories, sharing of traditional teachings and participation in sacred ceremonies serve to assist the individual in following the Red Road to healing. When one lives and walks the Red Road, one is seen and deemed to be whole in body, mind, spirit, emotions and behaviour.

Holistic approach: considers an individual’s overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being.

Medicine Wheel: a symbol used by the Aboriginal people of North and South America to teach that all life moves in a circle and that each person's journey to self-fulfillment lies within. There are many different ways that this concept is expressed, all reflecting the importance of wholeness and balance and the significance of the number four in Aboriginal life: four seasons, four directions, four elements and four aspects of our nature and four life stages. There is no beginning and no end. As individuals travel on the Medicine Wheel in their daily life, their understanding grows and they advance to another level in understanding “self” and gaining wisdom. The human capacity to develop is infinite, and the Medicine Wheel turns forever. The use of the Medicine Wheel and its interpretation may vary according to region or Elder/Spiritual Advisor.

Pathways initiatives: specific initiatives within institutions devoted to providing a healing and traditional environment for offenders dedicated to following an Aboriginal healing path. Refer to GL 702-1 – Establishment and Operation of Pathways Initiatives.

Residential school: a type of boarding school operated by Christian churches in collaboration with the Canadian government for First Nations, Métis and Inuit children. The many years of physical, psychological, emotional and sometimes sexual abuse that many Aboriginal people suffered while in residential schools can have long-lasting and far-reaching consequences. There are intergenerational consequences, meaning that individuals may not have attended a residential school themselves, but the impact on family members has directly impacted their lives in a negative way.

Smudging: the act of burning traditional medicines to pray and purify oneself or physical space. It is also an act of unity, used to open ceremonies to prepare participants for healing or sharing. The burning of tobacco in the context of smudging is not the same as smoking cigarettes.

Traditional feast: a meal following a significant spiritual/cultural event such as sweat lodge ceremony, fasting, round dance, pow-wow or certain life events of family/community members, etc. The meal might consist of cooked, uncooked or dried meats, vegetables, fruits and a beverage. These foods may or may not be government inspected. Traditional Aboriginal foods may be used but are not always necessary. Within the Aboriginal culture, it is the sharing of food that is important.

Traditional food: food that has been obtained by Aboriginal people. These foods usually include wild meat, fish, fruits or berries and vegetables. Traditional foods may be included as part of a ceremony and may be donated or purchased.

Traditional medicines: sacred, natural medicines used during ceremonies which may include sweet grass, sage, cedar or tobacco.

ANNEX B

ABORIGINAL CORRECTIONS CONTINUUM OF CARE

The Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model (to be referred to as Continuum of Care), introduced in 2003, was developed in consultation with Aboriginal stakeholders working with CSC to develop new approaches to addressing Aboriginal offender needs. Aboriginal community research indicated that the major factors contributing to Aboriginal offenders’ success upon release were their participation in spiritual and cultural activities, as well as programs (preferably delivered by Aboriginal people) and the support they received from family and community.

The Medicine Wheel, found at the centre of the Continuum of Care, reflects research findings that culture, teachings and ceremonies (core aspects of Aboriginal identity) appear critical to the healing process. Representing the cycle of life from conception to return to the Spirit World, the Medicine Wheel is a reminder that correctional interventions developed and implemented for Aboriginal offenders must take into consideration the past, the present and the future direction of Aboriginal peoples as a whole and of the Aboriginal person as an individual.

Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Corrections: Corrections Continuum of Care
Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Corrections: Corrections Continuum of Care

This figure represents the Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model, which was developed to ensure the continuity of services for offenders from intake to federal custody through to release into the community on conditional release as well as after sentence expiration.

The model shows how activities at the corporate, institutional, and community levels contribute to the continuum’s four core principles of care, which are:

  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Reintegration
  • Pre-and-Post Incarceration Prevention.

The Aboriginal Continuum of Care model is composed of two layers which encircle a quartered circle in the middle, which is referred to as a Medicine Wheel.

The Medicine Wheel will be described in greater detail later in this document. The outermost layer begins at the center left part of the model and goes in a clockwise direction and finishes at the center bottom with an arrow pointing to the left.

The inside top left of this layer is labelled “Corporate” and represents activities that occur at the corporate level, which contribute to the transitional support of offenders and reduction in recidivism. These activities are:

  • Statistical Analysis
  • Monitoring
  • Research
  • Evaluation
  • Program Development

Policy.

The inside top right of this outermost layer is labelled “Institution” and represents activities occurring at the institutional level.

At the institutional level, the actors, activities and services that contribute to the four core principles of care for the Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model are:

  • Spirituality and Culture
  • Case Management
  • Program Delivery
  • Pathways
  • Gangs Initiative
  • Parole Officers
  • Health
  • Safety and Security

Healing Lodges.

Between the outermost layer and Medicine Wheel that shows the continuum’s four core principles of care is a concentric circle, which is labelled “Community”. It highlights the aspect of community engagement, which is necessary in providing transitional support as well as achieving reductions in recidivism.

The actors and activities occurring at the community level and which foster the community engagement aspect of the continuum include:

  • Elders
  • Aboriginal Community Development Officers (ACDOs)
  • Aboriginal Community Liaison Officers (ACLOs)
  • Aboriginal Liaison Officers (ALOs)
  • Pathway Coordinators
  • Urban Reintegration
  • Sections 81 and 84 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA)
  • Prevention and Support
  • Transition to the Community.

At the centre of the Aboriginal Corrections Continuum of Care model is the quartered circle briefly discussed earlier in this description, which is referred to as a Medicine Wheel.

The Medicine Wheel at the centre of the continuum model resembles the Aboriginal Medicine Wheel for health that outlines, from an Aboriginal perspective, the four core principles of health, which are:

  • Physical Health
  • Intellectual Health
  • Spiritual Health
  • Emotional Health.

The Medicine Wheel, found at the centre of the Continuum of Care, reflects research findings that culture, teachings and ceremonies, which are core aspects of Aboriginal identity, appear critical to the healing process. The Medicine Wheel represents the cycle of life from conception to return to the Spirit World and is a reminder that correctional interventions developed and implemented for Aboriginal offenders must take into consideration the past, present and future direction of Aboriginal peoples as a whole and of the Aboriginal person as an individual. The Medicine Wheel at the center of the Aboriginal Continuum of Care, like the Medicine Wheel for health, takes a holistic approach in outlining the approach of the Aboriginal Continuum of Care model. It outlines the following four core principles of care of Aboriginal offenders that is to occur from intake through to release into the community. The principles are:

  • Assessment
  • Intervention
  • Reintegration

Pre and Post-Incarceration Prevention.

These four core principles form a circle and as a whole, through the activities carried out at the corporate and institutional levels as well as those carried out in and by the community, contribute to overall transitional support and reduction in recidivism.

Surrounding the Medicine Wheel is the Aboriginal community, which includes both on-reserve and urban communities made up of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. The Continuum of Care recognizes that Aboriginal communities must be involved in supporting Aboriginal offenders during their healing journey and reintegration, as they link offenders to their history, culture and spirituality. The Continuum of Care also reflects the importance of community support at every step during administration of the sentence.

Integrating Aboriginal culture and spirituality within CSC operations, the Continuum of Care:

  • starts at intake, to identify Aboriginal offenders and to encourage them to bridge the disconnect with their culture and communities
  • leads to paths of healing in institutions to better prepare Aboriginal offenders for transfer to lower security and for conditional release
  • engages Aboriginal communities to receive offenders back into their community and support their reintegration
  • ends with establishment of community supports to sustain progress beyond the end of the sentence and prevent re-offending.

For a complete original document, please refer to the Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Corrections (2006-07 to 2010-11).

ANNEX C

A CONTENT GUIDE TO ELDER/SPIRITUAL ADVISOR REVIEWS

The Elder/Spiritual Advisor (to be referred to as the Elder in this Annex) Review is the Elder’s perspective of the offender, based on his/her traditional knowledge and teachings. The Elder Review report, which is completed by the Elder or Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO) assisting the Elder, identifies where an offender is on his/her healing journey and can assist the Case Management Team members in completing their assessments on the offender. The Elder Review, focusing on the four aspects of self, is a holistic approach that serves as a baseline from which to measure progress. It would take place during each phase of the Continuum of Care in the institution (intake, assessment and intervention). The Elder Review is only required for those offenders who are following a healing path/journey where the Elder feels it is appropriate. An Elder Review is not required for every Aboriginal offender and is not intended for documentation of an Aboriginal social history.

The quality control of the finished Elder Reviews will be the responsibility of the supervisor of the ALO. The framework is a guide only to assist the Elders.

Intake (Initial)

During the intake assessment process, if an offender indicates that he/she wants to work with an Elder, the Parole Officer would ensure the Elder and/or ALO are informed so that they can complete the Elder Review (Intake).

Elder Review (Intake) – The report would be completed within the appropriate timeframe pursuant to CD 705-5 – Supplementary Intake Assessments. The report need only consist of the Elder’s initial observation and whether the individual will continue to work with the Elder and ALO with Aboriginal-specific interventions (as available in the institution). If the Case Management Team and offender determine that the offender is ready, healing components will be incorporated into the Correctional Plan.

Intervention (Progress)

After the intake process is completed and if the offender begins to work with the Elder, the process of developing a more in-depth Elder Review would continue. The healing components will be incorporated into the next updated Correctional Plan.

Elder Review (Intervention) – The report would be completed once an offender has been working with the Elder for six months. The Elder Reviews will be updated by the Elder (or ALO with Elder) as requested by the Case Management Team for decision making purposes [security level, transfer, first escorted temporary absence or unescorted temporary absence (non-medical), work release]. Once requested, the Elder (or ALO with Elder) will have 30 days to complete the update. An appropriate timeframe would be to have the Elder Review requested by the Parole Officer 60 days prior to the required updated Correctional Plan. It is the responsibility of the Parole Officer to ensure updates are requested at the appropriate times. Consistent communication among the Case Management Team should ensure this requirement is met.

Reintegration (Progress)

When an offender is moving toward the reintegration phase of the sentence and is preparing for a Parole Board of Canada decision process, the Elder Review will be updated to specifically address the possible transition into the community.

Elder Review (Reintegration) – The report would be completed for Parole Board of Canada decision making purposes. It is the responsibility of the Parole Officer to ensure updates are requested at the appropriate times. Once requested, the Elder (or ALO with Elder) will have 30 days to complete the update. An appropriate timeframe would be to have Elder Review requested by the Parole Officer 60 days prior to the required updated Correctional Plan. Consistent communication among the Case Management Team should ensure this requirement is met.

ELDER/SPIRITUAL ADVISOR REVIEW – OUTLINE

(This outline should not be considered a template for all Elders/Spiritual Advisors to follow. The information provided by individual Elders/Spiritual Advisors may be very different and may simply include the information identified in the “Observations” and “Recommendations” sections of this document.)

The following outline is a suggestion only, to assist the Elders in providing the information. The titles above may be used as headings for the reports.

TYPE OF OFFENDER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (OMS) REPORT: Elder Review

INTRODUCTION

Include the Elder’s name and home community.

1. PHYSICAL ASPECT (East): focuses on learning to value the physical self and becoming comfortable within one’s own body. Interventions to balance the various areas of the physical self may include addressing addictions, healthy eating habits, physical exercise, stopping the infliction of physical pain to oneself and others, and treating the physical self as the sacred gift the Creator has provided.

Topics that could be explored in this aspect are:

  • personal relationships
  • possible abuse of any type
  • residential schools or foster care
  • addictions.

2. EMOTIONAL ASPECT (South): involves examining an individual’s emotional state of mind and ability to fulfill one’s emotional needs. Interventions may involve examining stressful areas of life, impediments to one’s learning and growth, healing unresolved abuse issues, learning to respect one’s own feelings, accepting responsibility for actions and words, understanding both the positive and negative aspects of oneself and learning to make both work.

Topics that could be explored in this aspect are:

  • expression of feelings/empathy/remorse
  • impulsiveness
  • respect of others/self
  • suicide (attempts, family history).

3. SPIRITUAL ASPECT (West): understanding that all things on Mother Earth are related, that life is a gift from the Creator, and that we must learn to live to the best of our ability and respect all living things that we encounter upon our journey. Through ceremonies and Elder teachings, the spirit is healed.

Topics that could be explored in this aspect are:

  • spiritual identity
  • spiritual participation/understanding.

4. MENTAL ASPECT (North): focuses on the individual’s cognitive capacities, the ability to learn from the past and to develop new ways of thinking. With knowledge comes wisdom, with wisdom comes compassion, and with compassion comes understanding.

Topics that could be explored in this aspect are:

  • understanding/acknowledging criminal behaviour
  • motivation to heal
  • education/employment.

OBSERVATIONS

Describe how long the Elder has worked with the offender and whether he/she has attended counselling sessions and/or ceremonies. How has the offender's participation contributed to dealing with his/her identified needs (e.g. substance abuse)? Is the offender ready to work on living a more balanced lifestyle? What behavioural changes have been demonstrated by the offender?

RECOMMENDATIONS

What recommendations does the Elder have for the offender to continue to make positive changes? What warning signs should be watched for, indicating that there might be a negative change in the offender’s actions?

ANNEX D

ABORIGINAL WELLNESS COMMITTEE PROTOCOL

It is critical for the success of these groups that the Elders/Spiritual Advisors and management support their endeavours. As such, all parties will be in agreement with the proposed protocol document which outlines the terms and objectives with regard to their role within the institution. If an agreement or consensus cannot be reached, revisions will be made to the proposal until consensus can be reached.

Once an agreement is reached, a committee’s protocol may have a shelf life of up to two years. It can be revisited or rewritten within this timeframe with the agreement of the Elders/Spiritual Advisors, the members of the committee, and management. At the end of the two years, the protocol can be simply renewed if changes are not necessary.

The committee is non-political in nature and exists solely for assisting in cultural/ceremonial activities for the offenders (round dances, pow-wows, sweat lodges, sharing circles, etc.) in conjunction with Aboriginal Liaison Officers and the Elders/Spiritual Advisors. The committee members may also serve as helpers to the Elders/Spiritual Advisors if requested by the Elders/Spiritual Advisors.

The committee is responsible for sharing ideas and information with the offender population and staff, and acts as a liaison between the population and staff by bringing forward the ideas, input or concerns from the population it assists.

Determination of the members of these committees will be outlined in the proposed protocol documents. The number of committee members will appropriately reflect the population they will serve. Normally there would be one committee within the institution; however in exceptional circumstances (e.g. a maximum security site that cannot combine separated populations), more than one could be considered.

The Social Program Officer would be the staff person who works with the committee to coordinate its activities. The Social Program Officer would work in consultation with the Aboriginal Liaison Officer who will have the specific cultural knowledge.

ANNEX E

GIVEAWAYS AND OFFERINGS

The protocol of giving an “offering” is an integral part of Aboriginal culture. There are two aspects in which an offering is given. One is to give an offering of ceremonial medicine (tobacco) to an Elder/Spiritual Advisor when asking for teachings, ceremony or prayers. The second is an offering as a sign of respect, appreciation and honouring that is considered part of Aboriginal protocol. These offerings could take many forms: one of the four medicines, ceremonial items (feather, medicine pouch, dreamcatcher) or decorative items (artwork, carving, hobby items). It is important in Aboriginal culture to formally recognize and honour individuals who contribute in some way to an event, activity or ceremony. The Elder/Spiritual Advisor will work in conjunction with the Institutional Head to determine when these types of ceremonies are appropriate within the institution.

The giving of items in this context is not intended as a memento in lieu of hospitality, or a presentation in lieu of official hospitality, or to show appreciation without providing formal compensation as defined in Treasury Board policy. It is a sign of respect, appreciation and honouring that is integral to Aboriginal culture.

Within the Aboriginal culture, there is a ceremony called a Giveaway, in which a person or family would give items to everyone in attendance. A Giveaway ceremony is often held in conjunction with a round dance, community feast or other ceremony specific to the Aboriginal people of that region (e.g. West Coast traditions). This type of ceremony may occur in the community or inside the institutions. Offenders and staff who attend these ceremonies on escorted temporary absences (ETA) in the community will receive items. Offenders will ask for prior authorization from the Institutional Head to bring back any items received while on an ETA pursuant to CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders. These items will be subject to the requirements established in CD 566-7 – Searching of Inmates, when entering the institution.

Offenders may request the Institutional Head or delegate (in consultation with the Elder/Spiritual Advisor) to allow that spiritual, cultural or traditional items (e.g. medicines, medicine bags/pouches, feathers) remain with their cell effects. Cultural items (e.g. medicines, medicine pouches, feathers) are considered to have no monetary value; however, they are deemed to have significant spiritual value.

Items that an offender receives while attending a community ceremony on an ETA that appear on the National List of Personal Property will be registered on his/her personal property record in accordance with CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders.

All items given or received by offenders during a ceremony will be added or removed from their personal property record as required. Trading items among offenders is not permitted pursuant to CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders.

Items given to Elders/Spiritual Advisors, staff, contractors, community members or volunteers during a ceremony will be subject to the requirements established in CD 566-8 – Searching of Staff and Visitors, when leaving the institution.

Staff who receive items at a ceremony, either in the institution or in the community, will retain the items with their personal belongings at the work site. Staff are permitted to accept these items in accordance with the Treasury Board’s Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. The receipt of items in these circumstances arises out of activities or events related to the official duties of the public servant concerned.

Items made by offenders for the purpose of offerings/giveaways will be in accordance with SOP 760 – Arts and Crafts unless there are specific institutional initiatives in place for making craft items (e.g. Pathways). Those initiatives will develop guidelines approved by the Institutional Head with regard to their process for the storage of raw materials, tools and finished products.

ANNEX F

TRADITIONAL FOODS AND COUNTRY FOODS

Traditional Foods

Written requests received from the Aboriginal Wellness Committee for the provision of traditional foods for cultural/spiritual purposes will be referred to the Aboriginal Liaison Officer (ALO). The ALO will review the appropriateness of the request and of the foods identified and make recommendations to the Institutional Head and Elder/Spiritual Advisor. The Institutional Head will retain the right to prohibit foods that are contrary to the safety and security of the institution. Any question on whether the items requested are “traditional” will be referred to the institutional Elder/Spiritual Advisor.

Food that is to be used in relation to a ceremony does not always need to be “traditional” food, as it is the act of sharing food that is important to the ceremony. Non-traditional foods may be used in a ceremony.

Subsequent to the approval of the proposed event by the Institutional Head, all offenders, staff, contractors and visiting members of the public wishing to participate in the feast will sign a waiver absolving CSC of any responsibility in the event of illness stemming from participation in the feast.

Food items (including non-government inspected foods) donated by local community interests or departments (e.g. the Department of Natural Resources or Aboriginal group) may be allowed into the institution at the discretion of the Institutional Head, in consultation with the Elder/Spiritual Advisor, provided that:

  • the foods are cooked and have been previously made ready for consumption, or
  • the foods are stored and/or prepared (if not cooked) in an appropriate food-safe location other than the institutional Food Services area of the institution and in compliance with the Food Retail and Food Services Code
  • any person preparing uncooked foods within the institution has completed the appropriate food safety course, and
  • Food Services provide a plastic bin containing the cooking and eating utensils required for the preparation and service of these foods. Dirty utensils will be placed back in the bin with a sanitizing agent and returned to the institutional kitchen for cleaning.

The ALO will either accompany foods brought into the institution for Aboriginal events or advise the officer-in-charge and the officer at the principal entrance, by way of a memo signed by the Institutional Head or delegate, when the food will be arriving, who is bringing the food, the type of food(s), and purpose. At the principal entrance, the foods will be subject to a normal security inspection, and security inspected foods will go directly to the event or appropriate storage.

All foods not consumed following feasts will be given to the ALO or the Elder/Spiritual Advisor, who will determine the appropriate means of distribution where appropriate facilities exist (e.g. refrigeration), or removal from the institution. It should not be discarded.

Country Foods

Country food of the Inuit people is a dietary requirement of the Inuit people and must be provided at a minimum of once per month by the appropriate institutional Food Services.

In accordance with the Food Retail and Food Services Code, CSC’s Food Services may provide (through the institutional kitchens) only country food that has been government inspected. All foods that have not been government inspected will follow the process as outlined in this Annex for non-government inspected traditional foods.

WAIVER

I, __________________________________ (participant) do hereby release and forever discharge Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada and her employees and servants from all manner of claims, actions or demands of whatever kind, including claims arising out of negligence, that I may have as a result of my consumption, as part of an Aboriginal or Inuit feast, of food that has not been officially inspected.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this______ day of _________, 20__.

___________________________
SIGNATURE OF PARTICIPANT

___________________________
WITNESS

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.