Biweekly radio programs offer avenue for public legal education
Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014
For Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services (NALSC), radio has become an effective tool for sharing information with the 49 First Nations communities who live within the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) territory of northern Ontario.
“There are some city by-laws that young people simply aren’t aware of when they’ve been living on reserves — by-laws about smoking, for example, and provincial offences such as curfews and trespass to property.”
It has been over a year since various staff members began covering legal topics through a half-hour biweekly program on Wawatay Radio that airs at 2 p.m. EST. Shows have covered a range of topics including human rights and elder abuse, bullying and the community, and the over-incarceration of Aboriginal people.
“A lot of the time, it’s just me and the microphone, so I try to structure the show as if I’m sitting down and talking to someone,” explains Martha Loon, Public Legal Education & Communications Officer. “A lot of the topics covered are about the legal issues affecting people in the NAN communities. Some of the topics selected are determined from presentations I do in the communities, from co-workers, or from our NAN Legal Board of Directors.”
One show focused on educating youth about some of the laws and by-laws they would encounter once they moved to urban settings.
“There are some city by-laws that young people simply aren’t aware of when they’ve been living on reserves — by-laws about smoking, for example, and provincial offences such as curfews and tresspass to property,” Martha says.
In the year since the radio broadcasts started, shows have also helped to raise awareness of the various programs that Nishnawbe-Aski Legal Services offers, including community-based justice initiatives such as their Talking Together Program and Restorative Justice Program.
Given the vastness of the NAN territory — which covers approximately two-thirds of Ontario — radio has proven to be an easily accessible way for people to better understand their rights and learn about these restorative justice initiatives from the comfort of their own homes.
For more information about NALSC’s radio program, please visit their website.
For more information on this program:
Public Legal Education & Communications Officer
For other questions or communication requests:
Phone: 416-979-2352 ext. 6015