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We are hiring: Indigenous Legal Advocate

January 4, 2021

Download The Full Job Description Here

POSITION DESCRIPTION

POSITION TYPE:         Regular Full Time

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Indigenous Legal Advocate (ILA) is responsible for the coordination of Indigenous clients under the Su’ksipai’tapiisini – Community Case Management Table (CMT). The table is a collaboration of Indigenous organizations and Indigenous serving partners who provide resources and supports to individuals involved in the justice system who are working towards the goal of achieving a healing plan either within the Calgary Indigenous Court, other court systems or within the community.

The Indigenous Legal Advocate will coordinate and facilitate weekly CMT meetings to review participants going through the phases of a healing plan and coordinate the processes. The Indigenous Legal Advocate will ensure that culture is prioritized to increase wellness and
healing of Indigenous clients with guidance of Elders and in collaboration with decisions of the overall members of the community table, and with input and feedback from the participant.

It is the Indigenous Legal Advocate’s responsibility to communicate with all stakeholders, case monitor those who are not supported by other organizations or case managers, and ensure that all documental support, case notes, healing plans and details of each participant are maintained with optimum of precision. This includes files, electronic data, maintaining templates, notifications (agendas and minutes), and documental support required of the court system to manage and flow the services and system of care.

The Indigenous Legal Advocate will attend meetings with the Crown and Defense to update and provide appropriate documents and updates on all clients under healing plans with the Calgary Indigenous Court. This position does not coordinate Calgary Indigenous Court. The role is coordinating the Su’ksipai’tapiisini CMT table healing plans in conjunction with the Indigenous Court and supporting the needs of participants to be successful through the collaboration of all stakeholders.

PROGRAM SUPPORT:

Key Outcomes:

  1. Indigenous clients receive access to resources and supports to address the core issues related to their criminalization
  2. Community collaboration increases the success of Indigenous clients involved in the justice system
  3. Culture is primary to supporting healing and wellness
  4. Elders are actively involved in the processes and are involved in guiding and directing recommendations for consideration of decisions at the CMT table. Elders’ recommendations are the foundation for directing the needs of all participants who are on a healing plan.
  5. Indigenous clients are empowered to participate within the process and receive consistent care and support as required to support their success.

Responsibilities:

a) Coordination of the CMT Healing Plan Phases and participants who have been referred or are on healing plans through Calgary Indigenous Court or other court and community referrals.
b) Follow up, monitor and maintain high level documentation of all clients on existing healing plans as an ongoing function.
c) Build key networks and coordinate weekly community case management table of resources who are willing to work collaboratively with the population. Identify gaps in service provider supports relevant to the needs of the participants to engage further stakeholders.
d) Represent and chair the weekly table with appropriate updates agendas and meeting minutes.
e) Prepare all documents required of the crown and defense meetings and the Calgary Indigenous Court weekly.
f) Ensure communication with the Indigenous Program Coordinator to ensure that all Elders are contacted, scheduled, and oral reports are conducted and payment requests are addressed timely. Ensure all Elder’s needs are supported, whether delegated or conducted in person in collaboration with the Indigenous Program Coordinator.
g) Work collaboratively with all stakeholders and internal EFry case managers supporting the case monitoring by providing timely information which is provided through email, correlated data and timely submission of agendas and minutes.
h) Respect and work within the framework of the Criminal Code of Canada, Alberta Justice and Solicitor General’s legislation, and court protocols.
i) Conduct intakes relevant to those eligible for the program (have lawyer’s direction to plead guilty, willingness and interest to participate, and are released on a bail plan)
j) Maintain and conduct all necessary documentation related to funding agreements, file protocols and ensure security and confidentiality of documents are used at all times related to the sharing of information.
k) Ensure all evaluation and measurements for the funder are maintained as per the funding contract/agreements for all participants of the service.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:

Key Outcomes:

  1. Maximizes skill development.
  2. Encourages leadership
  3. Influences collaboration and collective impact

Responsibilities:

a) Participate actively in orientation, supervision, evaluation, in-service training, and
performance developmental programs.
b) In conjunction with the supervisor, identify areas of personal strength and weakness.
c) Develop goals and action plans to increase work performance.
d) Assume responsibility for contacting direct supervisor to receive assistance, advice or to
report in the event of an emergency or questionable occurrence.
e) Participate in opportunities for learning and enhancing skills
f) Develop networks that enhance referral and resource opportunities.

INTEGRATIVE TEAM MEMBERSHIP:

Key Outcomes:

  1. Team is strengthened and energized by the employee’s participation.
  2. Team is integrative and collaborative

Responsibilities:

a) Attend and participate in regular team meetings.
b) Contribute to team effectiveness by regularly initiating the request for feedback, by
being open to feedback, and by sharing one's own perceptions and opinions in a clear,
calm and respectful manner.
c) Encourage and support change by providing feedback, making recommendations for
improvement and following through on team decisions.
d) Engage in the training, supervision and evaluation of volunteers and practicum students,
as needed.
e) Engage in activities as per evolved through team decisions and directions related to
agency effectiveness.
f) Be willing to take the lead of events, projects and collaboration to support agency
effectiveness and evolving client supports
g) Be flexible and willing to support beyond your program when required for other
programs, agency activities and projects that occur during or post work hours as an
integrated and supportive team member.
h) Work as an integrative team which includes being engaged in an overall agency system
of care as a part of the function and support to empower EFry populations.

ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

Key Outcomes:

  1. The agency is strengthened and energized by the employee’s participation.
  2. Tasks are completed thoroughly, accurately and in a timely manner.
  3. Adherence to all agreements, contracts and policies is complete.

Responsibilities:

a) Review information and access direction on a regular basis to ensure a clear understanding of expectations.
b) Communicate, both orally and in written form, in a clear, concise, grammatically correct and timely fashion.
c) Maintain structure of program as outlined by the funding agreement and agency direction
d) Present self in a professional manner including suitable dress, attitude, punctuality, preparedness and presentation.
e) Promote the EFry to the community by participating on assigned committees and attending relevant meetings.
f) Provide support to all components of service including, but not limited to, consultation, involvement in agency events/fundraising, and assistance to all agency programs and locations.
g) Gather and organize documentation including client narratives, outcome measurement information and data required for funding proposals and public education initiatives.
h) Ensure that all activities and responsibilities of the program reflect agency expectations and values and/or partnership and all relevant funding agreements.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS:

Immediate Supervisor – Program Manager

QUALIFICATIONS

Education and Employment Experience:

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in Justice, Law or other Social Services Degree (Note those with a social work degree must be registered with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) as required by the delegation of this field).
  • 3-5 years’ experience minimum
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, specifically Publisher, Word, Excel, Outlook
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (priority qualification)
  • Experience with maintaining government file systems an asset (i.e.: probation or child welfare)
  • Experience in the legal and justice system (required)

Exhibited Skill Sets:

  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Effective self-management skills with demonstrated ability to prioritize and manage multiple tasks
  • Impeccable organizational skills to provide accurate and timely documents
  • Ability to work independently and effectively as part of an integrative team.

Cultural:

  • A strong understanding of Indigenous issues, social justice advocacy, diversity and anti-
    oppressive practice.
  • Strong cultural knowledge and understanding of traditional and ceremonial teachings (required)
  • Effective network and ability to collaborate within the urban Indigenous community and non-Indigenous stakeholders who participate within the program.
  • Understanding of how to work effectively with Elders and follow traditional protocols
  • Indigenous language an asset but not required.

Legal Requirements:

  • Valid Alberta Driver’s License and access to a reliable vehicle.
  • Must have a clean Vulnerable Sectors Criminal Record within 30 days of hiring date
  • Must secure a Clearance Letter indicating that you do not have a current criminal conviction, outstanding warrants or criminal cases that are being dealt with in the court at the time of job offer.

Salaries and Benefits:

  • Starting wages $43,000 – 45,000 (35 hours weekly with .5 unpaid daily lunch)
  • 3-week vacation accruals commencing within first year
  • Extra vacation time provided at Christmas without impeding vacation accruals.
  • Full benefits commence after 6 months
  • Retirement Pension Plan – Employer contribution (3%) commences within 6 months (RRSP) and a minimum 1.5% employee contribution which may be in RRSP or TFSP.
  • 4 wellness days quarterly, annually
  • All statutory holidays including .5 day for Stampede Parade, Family and Heritage Day, and Easter Monday. Any statutory holidays that fall on a weekend, employees receive a day off paid.
  • 12 sick leave days annually – pro-rated as per start date (Currently at 15 for COVID)

Applications accepted until 4pm on Friday, January 22, 2021
Submit cover letter and resume to Ronda Dalshaug rdalshaug@elizabethfrycalgary.ca


EFry’s Christmas Auction

December 1, 2020

Think about doing some of your Christmas shopping online and looking for a way to support Elizabeth Fry? Why not consider bidding in our online auction. From December 1st to 15th, you can bid on items online and support our Legal Advocacy and court services.

EFry legal advocates in Calgary, Lethbridge and the rural communities of Airdrie, Canmore, Eden Valley, Cochrane, Didsbury, Morley, Okotoks and High River, Strathmore, and Siksika assist individuals with legal information, assistance with legal documents and filing in the courts, as well as referrals to community and legal resources.

We provided support to over 500 women and their families in 2019 and continue to provide vital supports to individuals in the midst of COVID.

View Our Online Auction


Strengthening Resiliency – 2019 Annual Report

August 15, 2020

Throughout the 2019 year, we reviewed how we were working as an agency and adapted our structures to further empower our clients towards their own levels of independency. In particular, our focus diverted our attention to strengthening resiliency and recognizing the ability of individuals to be more successful when given the right resources.

We expanded our court programs to include Strathmore and in early 2020 we included Lethbridge and Siksika into our court programs. We expanded our legal advocacy programs into Siksika and Eden Valley to further support Indigenous individuals with supports to address their legal matters. In collaboration with Treaty 7 Nations, and urban Indigenous partners we have worked towards advancing the needs of Indigenous peoples to address the overrepresentation in the justice system.

Click here to read our 2019 Annual Report.


Message from the Executive Director

December 19, 2019

Transitioning from 2019 into a new decade moves us closer to our 55th anniversary in 2020. We would like to say thanks to all those individuals, agencies, supporters and collaborators for all your contributions over 2019. In particular, our organization would not be able to deliver the number of services and programs without the incredible staff and volunteers who consistently provide support to those who require our services and programs.

In 2019, we expanded our services into Eden Valley and Strathmore, and participated in the collaboration with the community and Alberta Justice and Solicitor General on the development of the Calgary Indigenous Court. We currently coordinate the Community Case Management Table, which contributes to the healing plans for those attending Indigenous Court. We conduct this work in partnership with other community partners who participate in the process and add value in reducing the gaps and increasing access to services and programs to address trauma, addiction and emotional and mental wellness.

As we move into 2020, we are reminded of the importance of empowering others who have had challenges that have lead them to systemic criminalization. We believe in the importance of building connection through community and contributing to increasing access to options and opportunities through the work we provide. Everyone deserves a chance to develop their true potential. We hope that you remain interested in our work, please feel free to connect and visit the organization. We will be celebrating the opening of our Indigenous Healing Room, the advancement of our services into Siksika and Lethbridge in January will be our next exciting advancements.

If you are interested in knowing more about volunteer opportunities or would like to support our organization please explore our website for further information. We are also seeking support with new or old, clean and in good condition winter jackets, socks, underwear, and winter gear.

From the EFry Family to your family – Have an amazing Holiday Season!


Breaking Barriers: Factors that kept some Canadians out of the polls

December 17, 2019

By: Alannah Page

The last federal election was decided just over a month ago and while many Canadians might have already put the thought of politics out of their mind, there are many people who didn’t make it to the polls despite being eligible voters.

By law, in order to be considered an eligible voter, you must meet the two following criteria, be 18 years of age or older and be a Canadian citizen. However, meeting these criteria can be a lot more difficult than they first appear and some of the four most significant barriers to voting impact the most vulnerable citizens in society.

  1. Not having a permanent address

When going to the polls the main requirement is that you present a valid driver’s license as proof of address and citizenship. However, it can be daunting for people who live on the streets or are in-between homes to go to the polls without a proof of address easily accessible.  

According to the Elections Canada website, a homeless person can vote a few ways, such as showing a piece of I.D. with their names on it, like a fishing license, library card or Social Insurance card. Also, if you are staying at a shelter or other residence you can ask for a letter of confirmation to present at the polling station. Other solutions can be found on their website under the FAQ section.

A new mobile polling station system was recently established in Alberta’s last provincial election that saw polling stations being set up at the Calgary Drop-In Centre. The polling station allows multiple forms of identification which bridges the barrier to voting due to lack of I.D.

  1. Having a disability

Though many polling stations do what they can to accommodate physical disabilities in many rural locations it’s not always that simple. There may be a ramp-up to the voting area but something as simple as one elevated step can deter persons with a disability from casting their ballot. 

According to 2017 data from statistics, one in five (22%) of the Canadian population aged 15 or over have a disability. In 2015, 48 per cent of people attributed “everyday issues” which include being out of town, ill, or having a disability as the reason they did not vote. 

In some circumstances, such as living in a long-term care facility, Election representatives may come to voters to ensure those with mobility issues get a chance to vote. Other solutions are ramps, accessible elevators and mail-in ballots for those who are unable to make it to the polling station.

  1. Being in prison

Since 2002, all people incarcerated in a Canadian prison have been allowed the right to vote Federally and Provincially. Prior to this only Canadians serving a sentence less than two years were eligible to cast a ballot. 

According to CBC, in the 2015 Federal election, 22,362 people voted from prison but 7.5 per cent of ballots were rejected.

Inmates often have access to T.V. but not to the internet so they are forced to rely on what the media presents as the political parties’ message as opposed to doing their own research. This can often result in the inmates not knowing much about the person or party they are voting for. 

Inmates are able to register to vote by filling out the Application for Registration and Special Ballot form and can vote only on the 12th day before the election as opposed to when all the other Canadians vote. Voting from prison is a bit different because instead of writing an X next to your preferred candidate’s name inmates must write out the full name of whoever they vote for and then put it in an envelope. 

  1. Living on a reserve 

According to research completed after the 2015 federal election 62 per cent of First Nations living on reserves voted, compared to 66 per cent of the non-First Nations population. This was the higher than in 2008 and preliminary reports show that voter turn out on reserves in the 2019 election surpassed previous years, with Alberta having the highest. Many people are attributing this rise in voter turn-out to the record-setting number of Indigenous candidates who ran for office in the last election. APTN reported that there were 62 First Nations, Metis, and Inuit candidates registered.

Despite the numbers rising there are significant barriers for those living on reserves when it comes to information around the election as well as access to polling stations. According to a blog post by Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., things like identification, emotion and physical limitation can all pose a barrier to on-reserve voting. 

This barrier can be bridged by factors that we saw emerge in the last election, such as more Indigenous representation in politics, accessible polling stations and political activism aimed at demanding change for Indigenous Canadians. 

While voting remains a democratic right in the country, it can help to be mindful of those who are not able to exercise it due to lack of privilege. In addition to the list above, not having internet access, transportation and the ability to obtain information about the political parties are also barriers to voting that impact incarcerated, homeless and less fortunate Canadians. 


Welcoming the Calgary Indigenous Court (CIC)

December 2, 2019

The Calgary Indigenous Court (CIC) officially opened on September 4, 2019 after 18 months of consultation with Indigenous leaders and stakeholders. Operating weekly, the court will primarily deal with bail and sentencing hearings, concentrating on a restorative justice approach to crime while incorporating Indigenous traditions.

Modelled after a teepee, the courtroom is arranged in a circle, in which judges, victims, offenders, and lawyers sit at the same level so that each party is an equal participant in the judicial process. Four judges with deep ties to First Nations communities preside over the process and include stakeholders, such as Efry, Homefront, Calgary Legal Guidance and Native Counselling Services, to take part in the legal proceedings. Paying homage to Indigenous culture, Alberta Justice provides the option for witnesses to swear their oath with an eagle feather instead of a traditional bible and the courtroom has special ventilation to allow for burning of medicines for special events and ceremony.

Indigenous people are disproportionately represented in both federal and provincial institutions across Canada. Despite only accounting for 4.3% of the total Canadian population, Indigenous adults account for just over 1 in 4 of total admission to provincial and territorial and federal correctional services. Specifically in Alberta, 6.2% of the provincial population is Indigenous, however, current Indigenous incarceration rates in Alberta are unknown as the province has not released this data since 2012. It is the only province in Canada where this information is not publicly available. At the last reporting, Alberta had the most disproportionately high level of Indigenous incarceration and the previous government have acknowledged this overrepresentation.

The CIC is an effort to address these numbers and create alternatives to jail and prison time by implementing recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) report. The colonial justice system and Criminal Code itself have not adequately managed crime involving Indigenous people and as a colonial system has not honoured the Indigenous traditions of reconciliation and restorative justice. Judge Eugene Creighton, the provincial court judge that presided over the opening ceremony, discussed the Blackfoot language saying, “We don’t have a word for crime. Our word is mistake.”

With a focus on cultural supports, peacemaking and joining Indigenous clients with the appropriate resources, including Elders, the CIC’s primary goal is restorative justice, rather than punitive justice. Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer stated that the UCP government supports different types of court models. Schweitzer elaborated, “Simply locking people up and throwing away the key is not the path forward, we have to make sure we’re innovative. What’s hurting people, how do we get those issues resolved?” By connecting Indigenous people in vulnerable situations with their community and culture, they find a space where they feel like they belong and the possibility of relapse becomes less likely.

 

 


Sage 12-Week Program

July 23, 2019

Now accepting women participants, 18+ years of age, for our Fall 2019 SAGE 12-week program. Please call to make an appointment to conduct an intake with Kachina. Please see the poster for details.

Program Information:

  • When: September 10th to November 29th, 2019.
  • What: Learn skills for life, express yourself with writing & photography, learn employment skills and connect with Indigenous culture.
  • Where: Sunalta Community Hall 1627, 10 Ave SW
  • How: To register talk to Kachina, Sage Coordinator to set up a time to meet at: 403 294 0737 ext. 246 | sage@elizabethfrycalgary.ca

In The Spirit of Healing – 2018 Annual Report

In 2018, an increased number of individuals from the Nation attended court and the number of Administration of Justice charges related to warrants and breaches reduced more significantly. Importantly, the support is conducted in the Stoney language, contributing to stronger understanding of processes, supports and resources.

In our efforts to reduce incarceration rates of Indigenous peoples, we recognize the importance of working collaboratively within the community to empower opportunities that lead individuals out of the criminal justice system and on a stronger path of healing and wellness. Therefore, we are grateful for our partnerships and collaborations within the community who are vital to improving access to the right resources.

>Click here to read our 2018 Annual Report.