Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) was established in 1970 with the objective of providing Courtworker assistance to Aboriginal people in conflict with the law. Agency leaders recognized that Aboriginal people often feel alienated by legal and court procedures, and require special support in navigating the judicial system. In response to these unique needs of Aboriginal people, NCSA established its flagship Courtworker Program, starting with a single courtworker working out of a single office. From its humble origins, NCSA has since grown into a dynamic, multifaceted agency committed to providing healing and harmony to the Aboriginal community through a variety of avenues, covering everything from programs that prevent youth recruitment into street gangs, family and community wellness programming to legal education, national health campaigns, video production and community-based research, while establishing a province-wide presence through an extensive network of regional and branch offices. Over the past four decades, our organization has helped to shape restorative and social justice models and practices, and has provided programs and services designed and delivered by Aboriginal people for Aboriginal people.
Last year, NCSA celebrated a major milestone. Our 40th anniversary year was one of our busiest years ever, with several new programs introduced, new legal education resources developed and marketed, and a full slate of celebrations held. These four decades, NCSA CEO Dr. Allen Benson contends, have been a long and challenging, but ultimately successful journey – both for the agency itself and for the past and current NCSA staff.
For more on the history of our organization, click here to read the cover story on NCSA in the Winter 2010 edition of SAY Magazine.