Law Society Public Statement on Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Executive Summary of Final Report
The Law Society of Upper Canada recognizes the profound importance of the work conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada over the past six years, as Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild and Dr. Marie Wilson traveled the country to hear testimony from thousands of residential school survivors.
We commend the commission’s tireless dedication and also that of the Indian Residential
School Survivor Committee, the advisory body to the TRC. The Law Society also thanks all the Survivors for their bravery in coming forward to share and document their experiences. Their combined efforts mark a critical turning point in Canadian history.
The Law Society is reviewing the executive summary of the commission’s final report, released on June 2 and is committed to acting upon the commission’s calls to action for ‘reconciliaction’ wherever possible.
“In particular, we are committed to enhancing cultural competency within the legal professions and look forward to further discussions about next steps, so that lawyers and paralegals have a greater understanding of Canada’s history and the relationship between the Crown and the Canadian government and the First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, says Law Society Treasurer Janet E. Minor.
The Law Society encourages lawyers and paralegals to read the report summary and looks forward to hearing views on how the legal community can respond.
“As professionals, and as Canadians, we all share a collective duty to continue to work towards reconciliation, by reaching out to First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities to find ways of working together to effect action and change. The result will be a better, stronger Canada,” says Treasurer Minor.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the Law Society is working closely with First Nation Métis and Inuit lawyers and paralegals and First Nation Métis and Inuit leaders and citizens to renew its Aboriginal Strategy. We began with an historic meeting with Ontario’s First Nation leadership last year and we will continue to build bridges and common understanding through ongoing engagement and face-to-face dialogue.
We also recognize that First Nation Métis and Inuit people may face unique challenges accessing Law Society services for the public, including our complaints process. We are engaged in learning how to make our services and processes more accessible — and supporting the diversity of methods that people may need to use to access our complaints process.
As the regulator of the legal professions, we are also dedicated to improving the services provided by Ontario’s lawyers and paralegals, as well as improving access to those services, for First Nation Métis and Inuit people — and for all Ontarians.
Further information about the Law Society’s Aboriginal initiatives is available online.