The Aboriginal Justice Studies (AJS) program explores topics related to crime and deviance, the criminal justice system, and the role of law, including Aboriginal conceptions and practices of law and policing. Courses critically examine the various responsibilities of key components of a system that strives to ensure the safety and protection of society. Students will look at the challenges Aboriginal people face in the criminal justice system, and how Aboriginal cultural approaches to corrections, policing, and courts are helping to address the legacy of colonization – which is evident in the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people processed by courts and prisons. A great emphasis is placed upon cultural values and beliefs of the Aboriginal community, and the AJS program utilizes Aboriginal adult educational teaching methodology, experiential learning, and practical application of academic knowledge. The program includes an introductory course in sociology with an emphasis on sociological issues affecting First Nations peoples, and an English course that emphasizes writing proficiency at the college level.
The AJS practicum placement allows students to gain experience working with agencies and organizations related to criminal and social justice. Graduates have entered careers in community justice agencies, policing, courts, customs, social work, and adult and youth corrections (including parole, probation, and supervision). Program credits transfer to colleges and universities for further studies leading to a Diploma or Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, as well as in other social sciences. Students may then further their education to graduate or law school.
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Completion of Grade 12; C+ or higher English 12; CAAT demonstrating grade 12 or higher in Reading Comprehension and Language; Writing Assessment Test; Criminal Record Check through BC Criminal Record Review Program; Mature applicant requirements include 1 page essay demonstrating interest in program and 1 year or more related work experience.
- CRIM 100 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
- CRIM 150 Introduction to Criminology
- ENGL 110 Academic Writing
- CMNS 125 Interpersonal Communications
- SOC 110 Introduction to Sociology
- FNST 110 First Nations Studies
- CRIM 160 The Canadian Legal System
- CRIM 170 Introduction to Corrections
- CRIM 180 Sociological Approaches to Crime
- CRIM 145 Employment Preparation
- CRIM 120 Introduction to Policing
- CRIM 155 AJS Practicum
This course develops students’ interpersonal communication skills through experiential workshops and participatory learning exercises. Special activities will focus on traditional Aboriginal values and the interpersonal respect that stems from living in small communities and extended families – and students will be presented with larger challenges on how to take these values with them into the workplace and criminal and social justice environments.
Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
The Canadian criminal justice system’s structure, levels, and operation will be analyzed. Attention will be paid to the historical development and current role of the police, the correctional system, the judiciary and criminal laws. The factors involved in decisions and practices and the role of discretion will be studied for the entire system, including both statutory and voluntary agencies. Students will also examine the various, and at times competing, goals within the system and analyze current trends in Canadian criminal justice policy, such as restorative justice.
Introduction to Policing
This course will look at policing from a critical perspective. Students will trace the organizational development of the police force from a historical perspective to the roles of police in contemporary society. Particular emphasis will be on Aboriginal policing (based on traditional cultural values and practices) and policing within the larger minority communities in Canada. To do this, students will look at police/minority relations in a cross-national/ cultural context.
This course is designed to give students in the Aboriginal Justice Studies program the lifestyle knowledge and skills to be successful as students and as practicum employees. The course will assist students in making effective career choices given their work attitudes, values, skills, and knowledge; choosing appropriate practicum placement; and developing the job search skills to obtain it.
Introduction to Criminology
This course will present an overview of the concepts, themes, and issues encountered in the discipline of criminology (or the study of crime). The course explains the basic concepts of criminology such as crime, deviance, rehabilitation, and the victim, as well as looking more in-depth at critical theories of race, gender, and class. We will examine the development of criminology through classical and modern theories. The relationships between theory and practice are also examined.
Through working under the supervision of a professional in an area of the criminal justice system or social services sector, students will demonstrate professionalism and time management,communication, teamwork, and networking skills. Specific assignments and an evaluation by both the practicum supervisor and the program coordinator will allow the student to demonstrate readiness for employment or further training.
The Canadian Legal System
This course focuses on the history, development, and present day operations of the legal system. It covers: constitutional law, administrative law, civil liberties, the court system, the functions of judges and lawyers. It considers the history of Canadian law and the system of the Canadian courts. The course will consider the nature of legal reasoning, the doctrine of precedent, principles of statutory interpretation and will introduce the fields of contract, torts, administrative law, and family law. It also examines the process of law reform in Canada.
Introduction to Corrections
This course will critically examine the history, development, and contemporary social organization of correctional institutions, including experiences of prisoners, victims, families, communities, and administrators. The overrepresentation of Aboriginals in the correctional system will discussed from a historical and contemporary perspective. Students will also survey community-based and restorative alternatives, institutional, educational, and Aboriginal programs, as well as issues of parole, prison education, and re-entry into the community.
Sociological Approaches to Crime
This course uses the tools of criminology to examine crime and deviance in North America and community responses to this behaviour. Students examine various theories explaining the nature and patterns of Aboriginal crime and delinquency. A critical examination of the First Nations experience with the criminal justice system is included. Innovative First Nations’ justice programs are examined and international comparisons of justice services for indigenous people are discussed.
Introduction to College Writing
This course introduces students to the conventions of academic writing. In this class, students will learn to identify the elements of sound writing in written passages, and to compare and contrast oral, written and culturally specific forms of communication. The student is invited to explore, step-by-step, each element of good writing by reviewing and practicing prewriting techniques and proceeding to grammatically correct sentences, paragraphs and complete essays and reports.
First Nations Studies
This course examines the political and social realities of being an Aboriginal person in Canada today. Students will study the history and culture of First Nations peoples through anthropology, political science, history, sociology, and legal studies. Issues of law, social policy, land claims, and racism will be discussed. Where possible, the course draws on First Nations’ writings and contrasts First Nations and non-First Nations perspectives. The course prepares students to be active participants in the processes of cultural revitalization, political reorganization, and social change.