Aboriginal People

Are you First Nations, Métis, or Inuit?

Gathered on this page are resources that were developed with you in mind. But there may be general resources that are also appropriate.

See the section Learn More About... or search the list of all legal topics to find other relevant information.

See also:

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.

The Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary offers pathways to healing, through supports and advocacy, for women who are affected by systemic social issues which contribute to their criminalization.. The Legal Clinic Program assists federally sentenced women at Edmonton Institute for Women by addressing their legal needs. Their court liaisons and volunteers assist youth and adults in the criminal court. They provide legal information regarding plea options and processes, as well as assist individuals with referrals to legal and community resources.They also provide referrals to duty counsel and other community resources.

Related legal topic(s): Legal services

Native Counselling works to ensure that Native people receive fair and equitable treatment in the justice system. the Native Court Worker Program provides Aboriginal people with information about court procedures, their rights and responsibilities under the law, and advocacy, support and referrals to Legal Aid and other legal resources.  Programming in this Alberta-wide organization include Criminal, Youth and Family Courtworkers; Correction centres and youth probations; and Family and community wellness.

Related legal topic(s): Legal services, Restorative justice

Right to Love: Grandparent's Rights

This video explains the traditional role of Aboriginal grandparents, the historical significance of family members being severed from one another, and what a grandparent can do to maintain connection to their grandchild in government care in Alberta today. Grandparents will learn about Family Group Conferences, guardianship, kinship care, and visitation and feel empowered in their sacred family role.

Related legal topic(s): Family law general resources

Alberta Resources

This online resource is from the Government of Alberta and provides information on initiatives and programs currently underway in Alberta through partnerships between the Alberta Solicitor General, Alberta Justice and Aboriginal communities, groups and organizations, as well as other topics of interest regarding Aboriginal justice.

Related legal topic(s): Administration of justice, Corrections

This directory provides a listing of services available in your specific region. You can search by location and category for social and legal services available in Alberta.

Related legal topic(s): Legal services

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an independent Aboriginal communications organization dedicated to providing objective, mature and balanced coverage of news, information and entertainment relevant to Aboriginal issues and peoples. Publications include: Alberta Sweetgrass, BC Raven’s Eye, Ontario Birchbark, Saskatchewan Sage and Windspeaker (national). Selected articles are featured on the website. They also operate the CWFE-FM radio station, available live online.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law

The BearPaw Legal Education & Resource Centre (BearPaw Education) is a program offered by Native Counselling Services of Alberta and funded by the Alberta Law Foundation aimed at helping Aboriginal people navigate the legal system and gain awareness of their legal rights. The BearPaw Education's mandate is to promote awareness of the legal rights and obligations of Aboriginal people living in Alberta and to enhance Aboriginal peoples’ connection and access to justice. 

Related legal topic(s): Public legal education organizations

A comic book produced by the BearPaw Education (NCSA), Breachis an entertaining look at a serious topic - breach charges and administration of justice. This youth-oriented resource aims to reinforce the importance of following court orders by explaining the consequences of breaching such orders as well as the benefits of following them.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Administration of justice, Classroom materials, Legal process

"Duty to consult' refers to the rulings that the Supreme Court of Canada and many lower courts have issued over the years stating that government and private companies have a duty to consult with Aboriginal people whenever Crown decisions or actions have the potential to adversely affect Treaty or Aboriginal rights. Consultation with Aboriginal people can also be required in the case of government decisions that affect public lands and waters where Aboriginal peoples have interests. This online resource was produced by BearPaw Legal Education & Resource Centre.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law

The First Nations Information Connection is an initiative of the University of Alberta Libraries in collaboration with First Nations institutions and in partnership with Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, Sun Microsystems, OCLC, and Nexen Inc. It allows students and faculty in seven First Nations educational institutions to take full advantage of the Lois Hole Campus Alberta Digital Library. The FNIC also provides access to a collection of culturally significant web resources. Most resources are also accessible to the general public.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Aboriginal self-governance, Legal history

The ministry of Justice and Solicitor General is responsible for policing and policing standards in Alberta. First Nations are policed by the RCMP Provincial Police Service unless another arrangement is made under Section Five of the Police Act. There are a number of First Nations communities that have made other policing arrangements through agreements with the province and Canada—either through a Tripartite Agreement (TA) or a Community Tripartite Agreement (CTA).
Related legal topic(s): Police

This information on the law and the welfare of children in Alberta is provided by BearPaw Legal Education and Resource Centre.

Related legal topic(s): Child abuse, Family violence general resources

Created by Bearpaw Education (NCSA), Muskwa: Sam's Spear of Fate introduces Muskwa the Bear, woodland superhero and fearless defender of natural law. When three kids crash their go-kart in the middle of the woods, Muskwa and his forest friends use the mishap as an opportunity to teach the three of them the laws of nature and the importance of respecting the natural world

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Classroom materials, Environmental protection and conservation

REACH is Edmonton's Council for Safe Communities. REACH is a community-based organization working to mobilize and coordinate organizations, community groups and Edmontonians to find innovative solutions to prevention and community safety.

Related legal topic(s): Consumer protection and fraud, Credit and debt, Crime prevention, Gangs, Multiculturalism, Prostitution and pornography, Public safety, School safety, Sexual harassment

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) has a long history. Since its inception in 1928, it has existed to advocate on behalf of and meet the needs and aspirations of Métis people in Alberta. The mandate of the MNA is to: be a representative voice on behalf of Métis people in Alberta; provide Métis people an opportunity to participate in government’s policy and decision making process and, most importantly; promote and facilitate the advancement of Métis people through the pursuit of self-reliance, self-determination and self-management.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law


LawNow is a bi-monthly digital public legal education magazine which has been  published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta for 40 years.  Its articles  and columns are written in plain language take a practical look at how the law relates to the every day lives of Canadians. In each issue, LawNow’s aboriginal law column takes a look at a specific topic in this area of law and explains it clearly and concisely.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Aboriginal self-governance

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is responsible for addressing and resolving issues arising from the legacy of Indian Residential Schools and works with former students of Indian Residential Schools, Aboriginal organizations, church representatives, and the Courts, to oversee the timely and effective implementation of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Related legal topic(s): Human rights

The Indigenous Bar Association (IBA) is a non-profit professional organization for Indian, Inuit and Métis persons trained in the field of law. Its membership consists of Indigenous lawyers (practicing and non-practicing), judges, law professors, legal consultants and law students. As the field of Indigenous law develops, the public is becoming more aware and interested in Indigenous legal issues. The IBA plays an active role in promoting the development of Indigenous law and supporting Indigenous legal practitioners.

Related legal topic(s): Aboriginal law, Lawyers

The Law Society recognizes that First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples may face unique access to justice challenges. The society has published  the following 3 resources especially for indigenous peoples:

  1. Guide: Handling Everyday Legal Problems
  2. Fact Sheet: What the Law Society does
  3. Fact Sheet: Working with a lawyer or paralegal
Related legal topic(s): Legal services

The establishment of the NACAFV is in the spirit of Aboriginal people taking responsibility and ownership for addressing the issues surrounding family violence. The NACAFV can serve many stakeholders by acting as a national clearinghouse for on-the-ground information, by developing standards and training programs. NACAFV as an organization has its basis in a consultative process that respects and recognizes Aboriginal knowledge as necessary for the effective provision of family violence intervention and prevention to Aboriginal peoples.

Related legal topic(s): Family violence general resources