Truth and Reconciliation

Statement Regarding the Kamloops Indian Residential School

Fostering truth and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is a priority for the Federation. Our work is inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s (“TRC”) 2015 Calls to Action, which call on governments, institutions and organizations across the country, including law societies, law schools and the justice sector broadly speaking, to build relationships with, and improve access to justice for, Indigenous peoples. The Federation is committed to ensuring the broad goals of reconciliation are embedded in our work and that our initiatives are informed by Indigenous perspectives. We are also committed to supporting the initiatives of law societies and law schools with whom we share this journey.

“The road we travel is equal in importance to the destination we seek. There are no short cuts. When it comes to truth and reconciliation we are forced to go the distance.” – Justice Murray Sinclair, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada]  see this story for  for inspiration.

Our Commitment

In December 2020, the Federation adopted a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation. This commitment reflects the advice of our Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action Advisory Committee, that was mandated to deliver recommendations to the Federation on an appropriate response to the TRC. These recommendations were approved in June 2020 along with Guiding Principles that are intended to inform all aspects of the Federation’s work.

While the Calls to Action were the impetus for this initiative, the Federation takes a broad interpretation of what it means to foster reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. We are examining how our commitment impacts all aspects of our work, both in relation to national initiatives and as an organization, and implementing changes where appropriate.

As part of our commitment, the Federation facilitates the national sharing of information about reconciliation initiatives occurring within law societies, law schools and the justice sector [link to Spotlight]

We are also committed to building relationships of trust with national Indigenous organizations and legal experts to ensure Indigenous experiences, voices, legal traditions, and truths inform our journey.

In March 2021, the Federation and the Council of Canadian Law Deans formed a working group to share best practices and new innovations in legal regulation and education.