In April 1988, the Manitoba Government created the Public Inquiry into the Administration of Justice and Aboriginal People, commonly known as the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. The Inquiry was created in response to two incidents:
The trial in November 1987 of two men for the 1971 murder of Helen Betty Osborne in The Pas. Allegations were made that the identity of four people present at the killing was known widely in the community shortly after the murder.
The death (March 1988) of J.J. Harper, executive director of the Island Lake Tribal Council, following an encounter with a Winnipeg police officer. Many people, particularly in the Aboriginal community, believed many questions about the incident were left unanswered by the police service’s internal investigation.
The Inquiry issued its report in the fall of 1991.
In late November 1999 the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission was created to develop an action plan based on the original Aboriginal Justice Inquiry recommendations.