Since its creation in 2016, the BC First Nations Justice Council’s mandate has been to transform British Columbia’s justice system and create better outcomes for Indigenous people. This includes challenging the approaches that have contributed to the overrepresentation of Indigenous children and youth in government care, and Indigenous adults in incarceration.
The BC First Nations Justice Council walks alongside BC First Nations leadership, working together to restore balance, promote well-being and create a justice system that upholds self-determination and reclaims Indigenous legal traditions.
Prior to our engagement, the BC First Nations Justice Council had an outdated website that did not serve their needs. Wanting to move beyond a basic website builder, the Council was looking for a modern and engaging experience that would accommodate their growing content needs. Given the breadth and significance of their work, it was important to present their mission, offerings and news in a way that could be easily navigated and understood.
A transformative content management system
Recognizing the pivotal objectives and high impact the Council’s work would have for future generations of BC First Nations, it was established in our discovery process that the content itself was the highest priority for the new website. This included creating an information architecture and navigation that gave visibility to their purpose, provided a compelling user experience for visitors and promoted engagement. It was also essential for the Council to be able to easily and flexibly manage their content.
Given these objectives, we built the new website on one of the world’s best-known and most popular platforms: WordPress. To increase the ease of use, we also introduced Elementor, a plugin that works seamlessly with WordPress to deliver an ideal content management experience. The website features a number of different layouts, so we designed the backend of the WordPress content management system (CMS) to allow the Council’s content team to easily recreate and modify these templates. The new build also provided the content team with control over layouts and colour schemes, as seen across the variety of the site’s landing pages.
The ongoing pursuit of justice
Together, WordPress and Elementor delivered a solution that received accolades from the client team and led to two additional engagements to further enhance the website. We went on to design and implement the Gladue Report portal and the Resource Map, where Indigenous services can be searched by name, location, region and service type. With this robust and logical filtering system, the directory is simple to use and has been serving the Council and their audience well.
We continue to support the BC First Nations Justice Council and the website with ongoing WordPress CMS and security updates as well as ad hoc maintenance requests as they arise. We are grateful to have the opportunity to help bring visibility to this important work of reforming BC’s criminal justice system, reclaiming Indigenous ancestral practices and restoring First Nations justice systems.