Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System seminar 2021

October 23, 2021 @ 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Indigenous People and the Criminal Justice System

Melissa Serbin
Senior Crown Attorney
Manitoba Prosecutions Service

Stacey Soldier
Associate Counsel
Cochrane Saxberg Barristers & Solicitors

*NEW* Class Times and Locations:
October 16, 23, 30 November 6
9:00am – 12:00pm
Virtual, Robson Hall, University of Manitoba
(Deadline to register is October 7th, 2021. Class size limited to 40 participants.)

Course Description:

There is a growing recognition in Canada, across all sectors and regions, of the need for a deeper understanding and more meaningful inclusion of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. One of the centrepieces of this recognition was the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, released in 2015, which included 94 calls to action to effect reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Call to Action 27 was directed at the legal community of Canada, calling on us (through the Federation of Law Societies of Canada) 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.

These goals have been acknowledged by the provincial law societies, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, and the Canadian Bar Association. As stated by former Chief Justice of British Columbia Lance Finch, lawyers have a “duty to learn”.

The Indigenous People and Criminal Justice System seminar was created in the spirit of these ideas. The seminar is will assist students and lawyers in learning about Indigenous cultures and understanding the interplay between Indigenous legal orders and the Canadian legal system.

This intensive seminar will follow the general introduction to the complexities and principles of criminal law presented in courses on criminal law and evidence. It emphasizes the ways in which these complexities and principles intersect with Indigenous concepts of justice. The class will engage in a critical analysis of the relationship between Indigenous accused and the Courts through multiple stages of the justice system: arrest, bail, pre-trial procedures, and sentencing. Throughout the course the role of the Crown and defence counsel and the obligations created by these roles will be discussed. Participants will examine Gladue reports, culturally important ceremonies and the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.

Participants will receive a letter upon completion of this seminar. It is well suited for students considering working in the field of criminal law and for lawyers interested in furthering legal education.

Continuing Professional Development for Lawyers

This seminar will qualify for the following Continuing Professional Development hours:

Law Society of Manitoba: 12 CPD hours; and 4 Ethics & Professional Responsibility hours

Law Society of Alberta: for Alberta lawyers, consider including this course as a CPD learning activity in your mandatory annual Continuing Professional Development Plan as required by the Law Society of Alberta.

The Law Society of Ontario has approved this course for 12 hours of EDI Professionalism.

Lawyers (called more than 5 years ago), $650 +5% GST
Lawyers (called less than 5 years ago), $300 +5% GST
Articling Students, $150 +5% GST
Law Students, $0

Please contact Ying Chen at with any questions about registration.