Indigenous Youth: Designing a Better Justice System

In August 2017, over 25 Indigenous youth gathered for a 2.5-day design-thinking workshop to create ideas for technology solutions to build a justice system that is reflective of Indigenous experiences and responsive to Indigenous traditions.

This youth-driven and -centred workshop, held on August 22 – 24, 2017, helped accelerate the implementation of the recommendations found in Justice & Juries – A First Nations Youth Action Plan for Justice by gathering young people in one place and focusing their creative energy on developing ideas to address the needs identified in the report. A Youth Leadership Team comprised of Indigenous youth from Ontario planned, facilitated and directed the workshop.

Organized and supported by our Institute, in close collaboration with the Ontario Justice Education Network, Justice For Children and Youth, and the Feathers of Hope initiative (supported by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth), this workshop aimed to create a safe and supportive space for Indigenous youth participants to take ownership over the exploration of technology as a means to address issues related to the justice system.

This project was made possible by generous funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario.

From this workshop, three prototypes emerged.

1. Shield Your Rights is a rights-education app game that aims to empower youth by incorporating the traditional Seven Grandfather Teachings into a quest to gain knowledge about their rights…all while having fun!

2. Meet Your Cop is a website that pairs police officers and Indigenous youth as mentors to each other. The goal of is to foster better relationships between police and Indigenous youth.

3. Peace Officer is a mobile app that allows Indigenous youth to rate and give feedback on law enforcement officers within their communities.








We and our partners are so proud of that work the youth have done up until this point and look forward to continuing it through the recently approved second phase of the project. Read more about the experience thus far in our just-released full report!