Aboriginal Legal Services (formerly Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto) was established on February 21, 1990. ALS was formed following a need for a legal related program for Aboriginal people living in the Greater Toronto Area.
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.
Vision & Beliefs
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.
ALS would like to thank 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