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Community Legal Assistance Sarnia...
Caption: From left to right: Dan Smoke; Andrew Bolter (executive director of Community Legal Assistance Sarnia); Mary Lou Smoke, and Jeff Plain (Baamsedaa Coordinator/Community Legal Worker).
Community Legal Assistance Sarnia
staff were presented with an eagle feather by Dan and Mary Lou Smoke on July 6 for their work in Kettle Point, Walpole Island, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia through the Baamsedaa (Let’s Walk Together) outreach program. Developed by Jeff Plain of Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Community Legal Assistance Sarnia, the program provides outreach and support so that mistrust and apprehension of the justice systems and seeking justice can be better accessed. “The documented mistrust by our people means many choose not to seek justice resulting in potentially many negative effects on them, or their families. Providing outreach allows people to begin the process in a setting that is more comfortable and trusting, said Plain. Baamsedaa also provides public legal education so that basic legal information is provided to area community members, college students and youth. “As more and more of our youth move to urban centres due to the reality of housing shortages on our First Nation territories this information is critical.” Landlord and Tenant law is one area Baamsedaa staff informs people during public legal education, along with such areas as Ontario Works/Ontario Disability Support Program denials and appeals, Employment Insurance issues, Criminal Injuries Compensation, CPP/Old Age pension, and Human Rights.
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