Visit to Six Nations continues important dialogue
As part of the Law Society’s ongoing renewal of its Aboriginal Strategy, Treasurer Janet E. Minor and Bencher Julian Falconer traveled to Ohsweken on May 27 to meet with officials of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
They were invited by Chief G. Ava Hill, members of the Six Nations Justice Committee and councillors from the Six Nations Elected Council.
The gathering follows an historic meeting last November with Ontario’s First Nations leadership, which laid the groundwork for ongoing dialogue.
Issues discussed included Six Nations’ perspectives on access to Justice, the Law Society’s Aboriginal Initiatives Strategy renewal process, the regulatory role the Law Society plays in serving the public interest, and the numerous services and resources provided by the Law Society — including public legal education events and projects.
“As part of the renewal of our Aboriginal Initiatives Strategy, and in the spirit of reconciliation, we are seeking to learn from First Nation, Métis and Inuit people,” said Treasurer Minor.
“Dialogue will help us foster mutual understanding of how we can help support improved access to justice within our role as the regulator of Ontario lawyers and paralegals. Our meetings with all facets of First Nation, Métis and Inuit leadership and citizens will also help us identify how we can contribute to and support their initiatives.”
In April, Treasurer Minor and former Bencher Susan Hare met with Patrick Wedaseh Madahbee, the Grand Council Chief of the Anishinabek Nation, as well as Chief Marianna Couchie and representatives of the Nipissing First Nation.
The Law Society has largely completed the work set out in the Final Report of the Aboriginal Bar Consultation released in 2009. The report was the culmination of a four-year project to create a demographic profile of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Bar in Ontario, as well as canvass support for Law Society initiatives to enhance access to the profession and provide support for First Nation, Métis and Inuit members of the profession.
As part of the renewal process, the scope of the Law Society’s Aboriginal initiatives is expanding. While the Law Society will continue to focus on supporting First Nation, Métis and Inuit lawyers and paralegals, it will also explore its role in serving the First Nation, Métis and Inuit public.
More information about the Law Society’s Aboriginal initiatives is available at: www.lsuc.on.ca/aboriginal-initiatives.