Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation marks 25th anniversary

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services Corporation (NALSC) is celebrating 25 years of improving access to justice for the 49 First Nations of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation (NAN) that it serves.

Over the past 25 years, NALSC has been a leader in addressing the legal and justice issues of NAN communities by delivering community based justice programs and services in a culturally appropriate manner. NALSC offers more avenues to justice through alternative, community-based justice programs such as the Talking Together and Restorative Justice programs. More recently, NALSC has taken the lead role in coordinating Gladue report-writing services for its communities. Before its creation, there were no community legal workers, few regularly scheduled duty counsel and no alternative dispute resolution options available in NAN territory.

“Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services celebrates 25 years of service on Wednesday, August 26th," says Celina Reitberger, Executive Director of NALSC. “From very humble beginnings in a trailer at the Fort William First Nation we now have 54 employees with offices in Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Timmins, Cochrane as well as many workers situated in the communities. We deliver Restorative Justice, Talking Together, Youth Interventions, Victim Witness Liaison and Gladue services in addition to administering legal aid services. As we move forward in to the future, board, staff and management pledge to continue to work towards fulfilling the vision of the NAN Chiefs to improve access to justice for all their people.”

NALSC was formed on the initiative of the NAN chiefs and with the support of Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) predecessor, the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice in Ottawa. The objective was to increase access to justice and legal services in the NAN communities—and NALSC has done a remarkable job of carrying out that purpose.

LAO extends congratulations to NALSC for its valuable work.

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Nancy Beal
Communications Advisor
Legal Aid Ontario
Telephone: (416) 979-2352 ext.5456