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Updated: 8th January 2019 22:50

Outreach worker educating aboriginals on what to do if arrested

An outreach worker in southern Alberta is travelling to a number of First Nation communities to educate her community on what to do if they're arrested.

Southern Alberta workshops intended to teach people their rights

An outreach worker in southern Alberta is travelling to a number of First Nation communities to educate her community on what to do if they're arrested.

Livia Manywounds said the workshops are intended to help build better relationships between aboriginals and those working in the justice system.

Manywounds said she hopes the classes will teach people their rights, and what to expect if they ever get into trouble.

"Especially if you're aboriginal, because you don't want that harsh treatment. You have to know your rights, nowadays."

Manywounds said she hears stories about shoddy treatment of young natives by police.

And that breeds a fear of police, said Manywounds, which is one of the reasons that the native population is vastly over-represented in Alberta's jails.

"We're trying to get that information out to them so they can have the power to stop it, so they can  move forward and not be in that criminal justice system."

Her niece, Racquel Manywounds, was at the Tsuu T'ina First Nation healing lodge for a session on Tuesday.

Racquel is expecting her first child in about a week, and she said she wants a better system for her baby.

"I think racism has a lot to do with it, and feeling like you don't have a voice," said Racquel.

Despite high hopes, the outreach worker said it has been a struggle to get people to attend.

A workshop on Monday in Morley, west of Calgary, was cancelled.

"Sure enough, I did have some people out [on Tuesday]. It wasn't a lot, but there was a few here — small victories are the biggest," said Manywounds.

Another session will be held Wednesday in Eden Valley.

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