June 21, 2021

This year, National Indigenous Peoples Day provides an opportunity for reflection on the recent devastating news from Kamloops and on just how much work lies ahead in the journey towards reconciliation.

Here at the Law Society of British Columbia, we are nearing the release of a six-hour Indigenous Cultural Awareness course that all lawyers in British Columbia will be required to complete. But this is not enough. At the July 9, 2021 meeting of Benchers, we will be discussing the elements of a review process that will examine how we can more effectively and more appropriately respond to complaints from Indigenous persons or communities about the lawyers the Law Society regulates, and how the evidence of vulnerable witnesses can be received in a less adversarial manner. This is important work that, in many respects, is overdue.

We take time today on National Indigenous Peoples Day not only to reflect, but to recommit ourselves to doing the work necessary in pursuit of the shared goal of reconciliation.