Response to TRC

January 26, 2016

Resolution re: Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action #28
For discussion and decision at Faculty Council on February 1, 2016

Redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of reconciliation is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Many of the 94 Calls to Action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) address matters of concern for the legal system. However, Call to Action #28 speaks directly to legal educators:

We call 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 the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.¹

Faculty Council of the Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba endorses the following statement with respect to the TRC Call to Action #28:

The Faculty of Law, University of Manitoba is committed to working collectively to meaningfully implement Call to Action #28, with particular attention to its implications for our curriculum and the learning environment at Robson Hall. Our current curriculum includes a mandatory unit on Aboriginal-Crown relations, Treaties and Aboriginal Rights (in Constitutional Law) and some of the other topics highlighted by the TRC are addressed in deliberate but uncoordinated ways in a range of mandatory and elective courses. A broad-based curriculum review process is already underway (which includes, for example, a proposal from the Academic Innovation Committee that knowledge of Indigenous Legal Traditions be a mandatory competency of the J.D program). The Faculty of Law commits to incorporating measures consistent with Call to Action #28 in the Faculty’s future curriculum. In the short term, faculty members will investigate options for fulfilling elements of Call to Action #28 in existing courses and programs in a more coordinated way.

Moved by: Debra Parkes
Seconded by: Karen  Busby, Brenda Gunn, Aimée Craft, Shauna Labman, Wendy Whitecloud, Sarah Lugtig, David Milward, Jared Wheeler (MALSA)

                                                      

¹ See also Call to Action #27, calling on the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to “to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes 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. This will  require  skills-based  training  in  intercultural  competency,  conflict  resolution,  human rights,  and anti-racism.”  Call to Action  #50 further  states  that “In keeping  with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes  for  the  development,  use,  and  understanding  of  Indigenous  laws  and  access  to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.”

 

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