27. “We call upon 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 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”
Cultural Competency is the idea that if a professional is working in an area that works directly or indirectly with a different culture that the professional will be respectful and knowledgeable about that culture.
This recommendation focuses on the importance of lawyers having a well rounded knowledge as they practice law within Canada. Cultural competency training for lawyers is an important step in reconciliation between the legal system of Canada and Aboriginal peoples. It would also teach lawyers to be respectful of cultural differences and be prepared for all factors that could relate to their cases and clients. Lawyers should be as aware and knowledgeable about Aboriginal concerns and culture as they are about any others in Canada.
The recommendation address the racism and treatment towards Aboriginal people within the legal system and also addresses the lack of knowledge of those who work in positions which involve cross-cultural relations.
Cultural competency training could be implemented in a number of ways. It becoming a part of curriculum at law schools or law firms could provide seminars or training course.
- Cultural Competency – Canada’s History and Today’s Physician, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
- Indigenous Cultural Competency Training Program, Provincial Health Services BC
Compiled by: Arryn Benson