The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario publish 1st Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples
September 29, 2022
The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario are pleased to announce the release of the 1st Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples today, in advance of Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
The Supplement provides guidance to the legal profession on issues that are emerging and evolving in Canada’s justice sector, including trauma-informed lawyering, land acknowledgements, the impact of new domestic and international legal developments and many more topics.
The original Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples, published in 2018, is a starting resource to help lawyers and others in the justice system learn about Indigenous cultures, understand the interplay between Indigenous legal orders and the Canadian legal system, and develop practical skills to effectively represent Indigenous clients. The Guide was always intended to be an iterative and living document, to be supplemented from time to time with a continued view towards reconciliation.
The Supplement to the Guide continues the work started with the original. It covers the significant advancements made in the law involving Indigenous peoples since 2018. The Supplement provides practical information, tools and resources for those working with Indigenous peoples in the justice system, either as clients, witnesses or opposing parties.
The Supplement includes chapters on the following topics:
- land acknowledgments
- developing a trauma-informed approach to legal practice
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
- Canada’s passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and Indigenous child welfare legislation
- recent developments in treaty litigation and interpretation
- evolving duties to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples
- the ongoing development of Gladue principles and their application in novel legal contexts.
The Guide and the Supplement both respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action #27, which calls for lawyers to receive appropriate cultural competency training.
The project partners — The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario — offer these resources to the legal profession and justice system participants in the spirit of reconciliation and greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples in the legal process.
The 1st Supplement and the Guide are both available in English and French.
“As we make this journey towards Truth and Reconciliation, it is incumbent on us all to learn about the history and current plight of Indigenous people. Put simply, without public awareness of the unvarnished truth about the mistreatment of Indigenous people, including within the legal system, there can be no reconciliation. The Law Society remains committed to not only enhancing its members’ cultural competency, but to ensuring diversity and inclusion within the legal professions.”
Jacqueline Horvat, Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario
“The Advocates’ Society is proud to have worked in partnership with the IBA and the LSO to produce the 1st Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples. As called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, it is critical for all lawyers in Canada to have the knowledge and skills to effectively represent and work with Indigenous Peoples and ensure their greater and more meaningful inclusion in our justice system. The Guide and the 1st Supplement provide a solid foundation for legal professionals’ ongoing learning and professional development on these topics of crucial importance to reconciliation.”
Peter Kryworuk, President of The Advocates’ Society
“The Indigenous Bar Association has been an active partner in the development of the original Guide and now its 1st Supplement. It is incumbent upon the Indigenous legal community to continue to educate and inform those within the profession about the importance of engaging with Indigenous peoples, whether as clients or adversaries, with respect and dignity. The Guide and the Supplement give us a useful tool to which we can refer the legal community, or anyone with an interest.”
Drew Lafond, President of the Indigenous Bar Association
“I am honoured to have been involved once again in the collaboration between The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario to produce the 1st Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples. Continuing the profession’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the Guide was always meant to be an evolving resource and a springboard into further learning. There have been a great number of significant advancements in the law since the publication of the original Guide in 2018, including in jurisprudence, legislation and legal practice. The Supplement is not a “how to” but rather, an effort to help the legal profession not only understand this progress, but continue to demonstrate the intentional effort needed to build competencies and improve access to justice for Indigenous peoples.”
Kathleen Lickers, LSM, IPC, Chair of the Supplement Working Group
Jennifer Wing, Senior Communications Advisor, Law Society of Ontario, firstname.lastname@example.org.