Qwí:qwelstóm Justice Program
Qwi:qwelstóm reflects a “way of life” that incorporates balance and harmony -- a way of helping one another to survive and to care and share amongst all people; a form of justice that focuses on relationships and the interconnectedness of all living life. Qwí:qwelstóm Justice Workers and Qwí:qwelstóm Wellness Workers now work with people involved in the criminal justice system and/or people who need support with their journey towards a balance of emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing.
About Qwí:qwelstóm Justice
Traditionally, justice for Stó:lō meant living harmoniously with others; justice was centered upon relations with all living life. When relations became disrupted, Si:yam would gather the people together and decide how best to restore the balance to the relationship. Harmony would be restored through the use and belief in two fundamental principles: Respect and Teachings.
The Elders and Si:yam would talk to the individuals and re-establish his / her responsibility to live in a good way. This traditional view of justice was based on the following principles:
- Consensus decision making
- The interrelatedness of all things
- Sense of belonging and connection to family and community
How Qwí:qwelstóm Justice Works
Referrals to Qwí:qwelstóm Justice can be made one of five sources:
- Self referrals
- Community agencies (i.e. Crown Counsel, Ministry and Family Service, etc)
- The Courts
In order for a referral to be accepted:
- The person who has done the harm must be willing to take responsibility for his / her actions.
- The person(s) harmed must be kept fully informed of the process and invited to participate.
- Qwí:qwelstóm Justice accepts referrals from all Stó:lō Nation Bands and First Nations living in Stó:lō Territory, from other areas in B.C. and from other provinces.