WeirFoulds marks Canada’s National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a two-part educational series

WeirFoulds acknowledges that we practice law on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and what is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day to honour the victims and survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. To recognize the painful history and the ongoing impacts of residential schools, WeirFoulds hosted a two-part educational event series throughout the month of September.

In our statement on June 10, 2021, our firm made a commitment to the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, in particular, call to action 27, which urges the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that 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. The aim of this two-part series was to educate and explore issues relating to racism and the recent tragic findings affecting Indigenous communities throughout Canada.

On September 23rd, we welcomed Red Sky Performance, to perform “Trace”, a highly kinetic contemporary dance work inspired by Indigenous (Anishinaabe) sky and star stories, offering a glimpse into their origin as well as their future evolution. Partner Janet Bobechko facilitated a live Q&A with Sandra Laronde, Director of Red Sky Performance that included questions about the role that art and storytelling plays in Truth and Reconciliation. Sandra is an inspirational and accomplished arts leader, creator, innovator, and influential speaker from the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) in Temagami, northern Ontario.

On September 30th we will be joined by Sarain Fox, a Canadian Anishinaabe activist from Batchewana First Nation, broadcaster, and film maker. Sarain will discuss her recent film, “Inendi”, the legacy of residential schools, and the importance of gathering and sharing the stories of elders. The fireside chat will be facilitated by WeirFoulds’ lawyers Emma Romano and Alyssa Armstrong.

To provide further resources to our lawyers and staff, we have put together a resource package which includes links to various articles, videos, as well as toolkits put together by other organizations for continuous learning.