October 20, 2023 —
The Faculty of Law was pleased to be a part of a second-annual collaborative event with the Law Society of Manitoba and the Manitoba Bar Association held September 27 in honour of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. Titled “The Journey Forward: Moving Toward Economic Reconciliation”, the event took place at the Law Society’s classroom with food provided by The Feast to facilitate and encourage discussion for in-person attendees from the Manitoba legal community.
The hybrid event featured a panel discussion with Darla Rettie, Pitblado Law; Yvan Larocque, Clinical Instructor and Supervising Lawyer at the L. Kerry Vickar Business Law Clinic; and Heather Berthelette, CEO, Spirit Healthcare Group of Companies.
Discussion centred around best practices when working with Indigenous community business leaders and entrepreneurs. In their conversation, Rettie and Berthelette emphasized that relationship-building was of primary importance.
“We are proud to collaborate with our partners to engage Manitoba’s legal community toward reconciliation,” said Michelle Falk, Executive Director of the Manitoba Bar Association.
“This event and its subject matter couldn’t be timelier,” said Larocque who moderated the panel. “Members of the Manitoba Bar will continue to have opportunities to engage in Reconciliations in their advocacy and representation of clients, and those in attendance gained invaluable knowledge that I’m sure will assist them in their contributions to Reconciliation throughout the Province for years to come.”
On October 2, The Law Society of Manitoba introduced a mandatory Indigenous intercultural awareness and competency training course for practicing Manitoba lawyers. The Path provides a basic foundation of knowledge about Indigenous peoples’ history and experiences essential to lawyer competence when dealing with Indigenous clients.
“This year’s event provided an excellent learning opportunity to hear from knowledgeable and compelling speakers on the topic of economic reconciliation, thanks in large part to the connections this partnership event fosters,” said Eileen Derksen, Director of Continuing Professional Development at the Law Society of Manitoba.
Meanwhile, the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba has been working to answer TRC Call to Action #28 by Indigenizing its curriculum and including mandatory content for all first year law students and a mandatory course for all upper-year students that builds on material and skills learned during first year law courses. The 28th Call to Action calls upon law schools in Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal-Crown relations.