Call to Action # 27: Background Content

Cdn. Bar Assoc. Response to TRC

August 11, 2016

CBA response to Call to Action # 27

The CBA is a leader in the field of continuing legal education and professional development who organizes national, regional and local conferences, seminars and workshops for lawyers that include components of cultural competency training. Relevant topics to date include some of those referenced in calls to action 27 and 28 concerning the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Treaties and Aboriginal rights, and Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations. CBA skills-based training has touched on intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism, areas that are often relevant for lawyers practicing in areas of law that impact Canada’s Indigenous peoples, even if indirectly. The CBA will continue to sponsor these events, and consider how to further expand cultural competency training to our members.

Resolution carried by the Council of the CBA at Annual meeting on August 11, 2016

Association commits to further advancing the TRC Calls to Action internally by:

  • introducing an IRS educational component at professional development events to educate lawyers on the IRS legacy and the TRC recommendations;
  • reaffirming and promoting CBA resolutions on specific subjects in the Calls to Action, and encouraging new policies aimed at addressing other aspects of the Calls to Action;
  • developing a central website of materials to advance the Calls to Action, including videos and papers, and lists of speakers and workshop leaders;
  • working with others developing materials for the legal community, businesses and the public to encourage cultural competency and education on the IRS legacy and the work of the TRC;
  • working with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure its Model Code of Professional Conduct includes lawyers’ responsibility to educate themselves on these issues;
  • providing cultural competency training and IRS legacy education to all CBA staff; and
  • hiring a professional firm to review the CBA’s current structure to identify any barriers to the participation of Indigenous lawyers within the CBA.

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