News Release
September 09, 2016

Vancouver, September 9, 2016 – The Law Society of British Columbia has struck an advisory committee to address justice and legal issues affecting Indigenous people in the province, including those highlighted in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report and recommendations.

The Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by President David Crossin, QC, and Grand Chief Ed John. The members of the committee are:

Law Society Benchers
Dean Lawton
Lee Ongman
Daniel Smith
Herman Van Ommen, QC

Public appointees
John Borrows, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria
Len Marchand, Provincial Court judge
Michael McDonald, Indigenous lawyer and Treasurer of the Indigenous Bar Association
Ardith Walkem, Indigenous lawyer

Benchers unanimously agreed last November that addressing the challenges arising from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s findings and recommendations is one of the most important obligations facing the country and the legal system today. The creation of the advisory committee marks a significant step toward a full and impactful response to the Commission’s calls to action and developing a long-term action plan that effectively addresses the needs of Indigenous communities. The committee’s first meeting will take place in September 2016.

"I believe our justice system has a moral obligation to confront the human despair left in the wake of the regime of residential schools,” says David Crossin, QC, President of the Law Society. “Our laws failed our Indigenous communities. This is an important step by the bar of British Columbia on the journey to redeem our justice system."

The Law Society of British Columbia upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice by ensuring the independence, integrity and competence of lawyers, establishing education and professional development standards for lawyers, regulating the practice of law and preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons.


For further information or to arrange an interview contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer