Community Healing Programs with Rupert Ross
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DVD available in closed captioned.
Rupert Ross, former Crown Prosecutor, expected important systemic changes in Canada’s formal justice system in wake of the Gladue decision (R.v. Gladue1999). After his expectations failed to be realized, Ross suggests there are fundamental differences in the idea and practice of justice in Aboriginal society versus western society. Ross explains that we need to reconsider justice by focusing on relationships and adopt alternative, open-minded approaches to sentencing. Ross reframes the offender/victim dichotomy and uses examples to demonstrate how groups can provide support for each of their individual members, and the larger society, to better achieve the common interests of healing and fairness. He emphasizes the importance of being open to spiritual, ceremonial and artistic pathways toward healing. (19:30 min)
Rupert Ross addressed the Rethinking Justice Conference, hosted by the Pacific Business and Law Institute, in Vancouver, B.C., October 25th & 26th, 2012.
Rupert Ross’ primary responsibility with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General was conducting criminal prosecutions in Kenora, Ontario and over twenty remote fly-in Aboriginal communities in Northwestern Ontario. Rupert’s secondary responsibilities included making the criminal justice system more responsive to the present day needs and cultural traditions of Aboriginal people and gaining expertise in restorative justice processes. He worked with the Federal Aboriginal Justice Directorate for three years, traveling across Canada examining Aboriginal approaches to crime, with special emphasis on healing programs for victims, offenders, families and communities. Rupert has written several articles and is the author of two books, Dancing With a Ghost and Returning To the Teachings.