On July 20, 2021, the Law Society of Manitoba announced the establishment of its first ever Indigenous Advisory Committee.
The Honourable Murray Sinclair has been appointed as the Chair and Jessica Saunders has been appointed as the Vice Chair.
The Indigenous Advisory Committee is comprised of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, Law Society Benchers, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous lawyers. The Indigenous Advisory Committee appointees are:
– The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Chair (Pictured above, left)
– Jessica Saunders, Vice Chair (Pictured above, right)
– E.J Fontaine
– Eva Wilson-Fontaine
– Desiree Dorion
– Vincent Sinclair
– Frankie Snider
– Ken Mandzuik
– Elissa Neville
The Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC) will guide the Law Society in its ongoing response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. As its first priority, the IAC will develop a plan of action with respect to Call to Action #27 and advise the Law Society on how best to ensure Manitoba lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law and Aboriginal-Crown relations requiring skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and anti-racism.
The IAC will also provide the Law Society with advice and feedback on educational programs with regard to the potential for cultural bias, assist the Law Society in addressing the unique needs of Indigenous peoples within the regulatory process and advise and support the Law Society in effectively engaging and building relationships with Indigenous peoples.
This work is in furtherance of the Canadian Federation of Law Society’s response to Call to Action #27, with other Law Societies across Canada having struck similar committees.
Cochrane Saxberg congratulates General Counsel, Honourable Murray Sinclair and Associate, Jessica Saunders on being appointed to lead this very important work!