In recognition of its responsibility as a justice stakeholder to foster reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada has approved a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation.
The statement, which received the unanimous approval of the Federation Council on December 7, 2020, is an essential part of the Federation’s framework for responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (“TRC”) Calls to Action. It recognizes the important role that all justice system participants play in fostering truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada and highlights the steps that the Federation will take in fulfilling its commitment, many of which are already underway.
The statement of commitment was developed in consultation with members of the Federations Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action Advisory Committee (the Advisory Committee) and Indigenous legal experts.
An essential component of the statement is the adoption of Guiding Principles that were developed by the Federation’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action Advisory Committee (the “Advisory Committee”) to ensure Indigenous perspectives inform the Federation’s journey towards reconciliation and are reflected in all aspects of our work.
These principles were approved by Federation Council in June 2020 along with nine recommendations from the Advisory Committee to guide the Federation’s response to the TRC. The Advisory Committee’s full report is available on the Federation’s website.
The statement of commitment is a small, but significant step in the Federation’s efforts to foster truth and reconciliation. The Federation is currently exploring ways in which it can demonstrate that commitment through its national initiatives, its relationships with law societies, law schools, and national Indigenous organizations.