News Release
June 21, 2019

To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Law Society is supporting Indigenous mentorship and celebrating Indigenous culture by sponsoring events at the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch, Aboriginal Lawyers Forum retreat during the week. National Indigenous Peoples Day also offers an opportunity to reflect on truth and reconciliation initiatives, and the Law Society’s progress on its Truth and Reconciliation Action Plan that was launched last year.

The action plan is a living document that lays out guiding principles for how the Law Society and the legal profession it regulates can improve how Indigenous individuals interact with the administration of justice. Developed in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, the plan proposes more than 50 actions and initiatives that the Law Society can take to advance reconciliation. Action is underway for almost all of the plan, with 34 initiatives fully or substantially implemented. Highlights include:

  • ensuring Indigenous representation among Benchers, with the appointment of Claire Marshall and election of Karen Snowshoe as the first Indigenous women Benchers in BC;
  • appointing Indigenous representatives to nearly all of the Law Society’s regulatory and advisory committees;
  • adding sessions dedicated to Indigenous intercultural competence, Indigenous child welfare and Indigenous sentencing to the Professional Legal Training Course; and
  • making the profession more welcoming to new lawyers by facilitating the use of Indigenous regalia at call ceremonies.

The Law Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee will also be taking the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls into consideration as it develops a new program to address cultural competency within the practising bar.

“National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, cultures and contributions of Indigenous peoples,” said Law Society President Nancy Merrill, QC. “The Law Society is proud to support Indigenous lawyers and peoples as we continue to promote a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in our legal system.”


For further information contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer