Law Society of BC Truth and Reconciliation Symposium

Course Date: November 23, 2017

Total: 4h 45min

Conference Opening and Introduction
Coast Salish Welcome

Wes Nahanee — Squamish Nation Cultural Ambassador 

Introduction Plenary – Setting The Stage

• objectives of the symposium
• overview of the day: turning law from a tool of assimilation to a tool for reconciliation
• setting out the guiding questions for the symposium

Ardith Walpetko We’dalx Walkem
 — Member of the Law Society’s TRC Advisory Committee; Cedar and Sage Law Corporation, Chilliwack
Herman Van Ommen, QCPresident, Law Society of British Columbia, Vancouver


Concurrent Breakout Sessions — Dialogue 

A. Biases in the Practice of Law (webinar participants will view this session)

Facilitator: Andrea Hilland — Policy Lawyer, Law Society of British Columbia, Vancouver

• Indigenous lawyers’ experiences of racism in the legal profession
• how biases infiltrate legal processes and how to address these biases

B. Legal Aid

Facilitator: Celeste A. HaldaneChief Commissioner, BC Treaty Commission, Vancouver

• Indigenous clients’ need for legal aid
• Law Society’s role in improving availability of legal aid

C. Systemic Biases

Facilitator: Dr. Bruce McIvor — First Peoples Law, Vancouver

• systemic biases against Indigenous people
• what can be done to identify and address systemic biases

D. Competence & Best Practices

Facilitator: Patricia M. BarkaskasAcademic Director, Indigenous Community Legal Clinic & Instructor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC, Vancouver

• standards for competent legal services (cultural competence
• ethics, practice standards, best practice guides


Keynote Speaker:
The Honourable Judge Steven L. Point, OBC — Provincial Court of British Columbia, Abbotsford
(former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia) 
We Create Our Future By What We Think, Say, and Do Today

Concurrent Breakout Sessions — Dialogue 

A. Lawyer Education (webinar participants will view this session)

Facilitator: Leah Sisi-ya-ama George-Wilson — Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Vancouver

• responding to Calls to Action 27 and 28

• law schools, PLTC, NCA, CPD

B. Co-existence of Indigenous and Canadian laws

Facilitator: Maxine Hayman MatilpiWest Coast Environmental Law, Vancouver

• importance of Indigenous approaches to resolving legal issues

C. International Legal Standards

Facilitator: Melissa Louie — Morgan & Associates, West Vancouver

• relevance of international standards in addressing Indigenous legal issues

D. Supporting Indigenous Lawyers

Facilitator: Tina L. Dion, QC — Barrister & Solicitor, Tsawwassen

• recruitment, retention, and advancement of Indigenous Lawyers
• creating space for Indigenous participation in legal organizational governance


Forging a Path of Reconciliation: Gathering Thoughts from Breakout Sessions

• how can the law be used as a tool for reconciliation?
• next steps for Law Society
• commitment to an ongoing process