Native Courtworker programs have been in existence in Canada for over forty years. In the late 1960’s, the Department of Indian Affairs, Health and Welfare, Employment and Immigration and Secretary of State provided funds for a pilot project called Aboriginal Courtworker Program. In 1973, responsibility for the program at the federal level was assigned to the Department of Justice.
In British Columbia, a Native Courtworker pilot project was initiated in 1970 when the Vancouver Indian Friendship Centre, Indian Homemaker’s Association, Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, B.C. Association of Non-Status Indians, North American Indian Brotherhood and the John Howard Society decided such a program was needed in this province. Under the management of the John Howard Society the project expanded and in 1972 became the Native Courtworker Association. In 1973, it added counselling as a service and became the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of British Columbia (NCCAB.C.).
Today we are a provincial organization with a forty-plus year history of providing services to aboriginal people who face barriers as they seek access to justice and health. We have 40 frontline staff serving aboriginal communities throughout the province in various capacities. Our staff includes Courtworkers, professionals working with alcohol and drug addictions, family and youth advocates, and health care providers in HIV prevention and FASD.