Dave Dickson (left) and Samantha-Jo Dick are excited that the Elks Hall will serve as the location of Indigenous Court in Williams Lake. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Dave Dickson (left) and Samantha-Jo Dick are excited that the Elks Hall will serve as the location of Indigenous Court in Williams Lake. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

Indigenous Court to open at Elks Hall in Williams Lake

Soft opening set for Dec. 11

The Elks Hall will be home to the new Indigenous court in Williams Lake.

Elders who will be part of the specialized court gathered at the hall downtown early Monday morning (Nov. 9) for training in anticipation of the court’s first sitting.

Yeqox Nilin Justice Society executive director Samantha-Jo Dick said the training was for the 10 elders to hone their skills.

Two elders from the Indigenous court in Kamloops, which remains operational, also attended to provide insight on how they have dealt with COVID-19.

A soft opening is anticipated to be held Friday, Dec. 11 at the Elks Hall and be broadcast online.

The Indigenous court in Williams Lake will be B.C.’s seventh such court. It was initially scheduled to open in spring 2020 at the Williams Lake courthouse but was disrupted by the global health crisis.

“By coming and telling their story to the elders in the court, I believe that a good healing plan could be made to go forward,” said Dave Dickson, who retired last year as the city’s manager of community safety.

“If we can get a healthy community, we can reduce crime in our community.”

Read More: Indigenous Court to offer alternative sentencing options for northern Vancouver Island

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