Login

B.C. law society requires Indigenous cultural competency training of all lawyers in the province

The training will be available free online

B.C. law society requires Indigenous cultural competency training of all lawyers in the province

The Law Society of British Columbia has decided to require Indigenous cultural competency training of all lawyers within the province, the first law society in the country to do so.

According to the law society, its governing board of benchers has voted to compel such training, which will cover “the history of Aboriginal-Crown relations, the history and legacy of residential schools and specific legislation regarding Indigenous peoples of Canada,” as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Lawyers must be equipped to advise clients regarding how to deal with these statutory changes, particularly in this time of reconciliation.

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission revealed a gap in legal education in an area that the Benchers have recognized is a core area of competency for lawyers,” said the society’s president, Nancy Merrill. “We are acting in the public interest by establishing training that provides lawyers with a baseline of education to address this pressing and substantial need.”

According to Clark Wilson LLP, whose partner Michael McDonald is co-chair of the society’s Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee, the Law Society of British Columbia is the first in the country to make this kind of training mandatory.

“Serving the public interest means a knowledge of the facts of history, even if that history does not show our society in a good light,” said McDonald. “These are historical and legal facts that continue to permeate all of Canada, its economy, its social fabric, its education system and its legal system. We need to ensure the public interest is met by ensuring that lawyers have that core knowledge.”

The six-hour training, which will be available free online, is expected to be finalized in 2020 and implemented in 2021, by which time lawyers will have two years to finish all the modules.

More information regarding the training can be found in the website’s Truth and Reconciliation page, as well as in the uploaded backgrounder.

Related stories

Free newsletter

The Canadian Legal Newswire is a FREE newsletter that keeps you up to date on news and analysis about the Canadian legal scene. A separate InHouse Edition is delivered on a regular basis, providing targeted news and information of interest to in-house counsel.

Please enter your email address below to subscribe.

Recent articles & video

Award more than tripled on appeal for fired articling student at B.C. firm Acumen Law

Supreme Court saw declining leaves to appeal but more technology use in 2020

BLG’s acquisition of AUM Law will help it expand compliance services to investment management sector

Canadian Judicial Council releases handbooks for self-represented litigants

New Brunswick to require liquor servers and sellers at licensed establishments to undergo training

Bennett Jones lawyers analyze potential effects of Ottawa’s 2021 budget on trade

Most Read Articles

Award more than tripled on appeal for fired articling student at B.C. firm Acumen Law

Disbarred Edmonton lawyer Shawn Beaver has his one-year jail sentence reduced to 90 days

Canada Revenue Agency profiling of Muslim charities may pose a national security threat

Toronto litigator urges ‘changing mindsets’ in legal firms