How In-House Counsel Can Use the Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit

  • May 09, 2023
  • Brigitte Pellerin

How In-House Counsel Can Use the Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its report in 2015, it included calls to action specific to law schools and members of the legal profession. How can in-house counsel do their part?

When we know better, we can do better, which is why the Canadian Bar Association put together a Truth and Reconciliation Toolkit to give members of the legal profession actionable guidance and resources on what they need to do to become better allies to Indigenous people, at every stage of their professional journey.

Of particular interest to in-house counsel is the Toolkit section on learning, celebrating and supporting Indigenous communities. Everyone can learn more about allyship, about the ways they should engage with Indigenous Elders, the cultural protocols to keep in mind, how to do meaningful land acknowledgements and why Indigenous-specific training on anti-racism and unconscious bias is so important.

The Toolkit will also help in-house counsel find the Indigenous Friendship Centre closest to them, discover Indigenous artists and increase their Indigenous Quotient, or IQ, for instance by understanding why some individuals may be hesitant to point with their fingers while others raise eyebrows to signal agreement.

Indigenous law and legal tradition

Finally, the Toolkit includes a reference hub for comprehensive glossaries, terminology guides, and many other resources to understand everything from the Indian Act to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and how they apply to the Canadian context.

The Toolkit is designed to help every lawyer along their reconciliation journey, no matter where they are in their career. As former CBA President Bradley Regehr says, reconciliation is difficult work. We hope this Toolkit serves as inspiration for lawyers as they move forward on this path of reconciliation.

Brigitte Pellerin is the Editor for Publications with the Canadian Bar Association.

This article is a slightly edited version of the original published on CBA National, which is produced by the Canadian Bar Association.