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Francophone / Acadian Communities and Nova Scotia Restorative Justice

Lead Researcher: Bruce Archibald

The purpose of this project is threefold: to canvass theories of community in relation to restorative justice to assess the extent of their resonance with francophone and Acadian communities in Nova Scotia; to scout out actual and potential links with restorative justice in the province through an analysis of the geography, demographics and cultural institutions of Nova Scotia's Acadian and francophone communities; and to assess the usefulness and/or feasibility of the production of French language restorative justice literature for the NSRJP and the training of facilitators in French.

In principle, restorative justice ought to have the capacity to reach out to and arise from different communities to provide a reflexive enhancement to the youth/criminal justice system and to empower local communities. Francophone and Acadian communities are central to cultural fabric of Nova Scotia, yet we know little of the links between the restorative justice program and these communities, the demands for services in French or specific cultural issues that may be germane. Issues here are likely to go beyond mere question of translation and to examine cultural aspects that could impinge on the ability of the NSRJP to meet the aspirational goals of community development and capacity building in Acadian and francophone communities. It is anticipated that issue may differ as between the rural Acadian areas, where relatively homogeneous francophone communities are located, and the Halifax region, where francophones of various origins may relate to general francophone institutions such as French language schools.  

The involvement of those restorative justice agencies in parts of the province with significant Acadian or francophone population will be central to this project (i.e., Yarmouth/Baie Ste. Marie/Pointe de L'Eglise; Arichat/Petit de Grat; Cheticamp; Halifax etc.)