Megan Logan, a first-year student in Georgian College’s Indigenous Community and Social Development program, has been selected by the Ontario government to serve on an influential committee that will help improve First Nations representation on juries and in the justice system.
The First Nation Juries Review Committee has the task of overseeing implementation of recommendations from the Hon. Frank Iacobucci’s report, First Nation Representations on Ontario Juries. The committee’s work will help to build a stronger, more accessible justice system for First Nation people.
Logan, who belongs to the Turtle Clan of Delaware Nation, Moravian of the Thames, located near London, was named to the committee because of her leadership experience in Aboriginal youth organizations. She is a member of the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians Youth Council, which she also represents on the Ontario First Nations Young Peoples’ Council.
Logan says she is honoured to be taking part in the Juries Review Committee work, particularly because she has the opportunity to champion the views of young people.
“First Nations youth are very overrepresented in Ontario’s juvenile justice system,” she said. “One in three youth in female junior corrections systems is an Aboriginal youth. Fifteen per cent of the male youth in junior corrections systems are Aboriginal. It’s important for young people to get involved in this process and help make change happen.”
Logan says that standing up for what’s right in her community comes naturally to her out of concern for the wellbeing of others.
“It’s just something I really believe in. I have always had older mentors, cousins and other relatives who are great examples and encourage me,” she said.
Her love of community is one factor that led her to enrol in Indigenous Community and Social Development, a two-year program at the Barrie Campus of Georgian College. She hopes to use the skills and knowledge she gains at Georgian to advocate for positive change for First Nations communities.
Logan is positive that real improvement in the justice system will result from the Juries committee. However, she acknowledges that while some changes can be implemented quickly other, more fundamental, changes will require more time.