Aboriginal Lawyers Forum Update

  • April 01, 2017

The Aboriginal Lawyers Forum (“ALF”) recognizes the contributions of the 2015/16 CBABC Executive for its hard work and ongoing dedication to the ALF. 

As Tina Dion, QC, ALF Chair for 2016/17 and Equality & Diversity Representative on CBABC Executive Committee wrote in the Fall 2016 Forum Drum newsletter: 

“We continue to work toward building up the ALF so it will have a deeper and more meaningful presence within the CBABC and the broader legal community.” 

The ALF has been very active in the BC legal community this past year. Here are just a few of the highlights: 

Permanent ALF Seat on the CBABC Executive Committee 
The CBABC Executive Committee proposed amendments to the CBABC by-laws to create a permanent ALF seat on the Executive, which was approved by Provincial Council on January 28, 2017. The seat will be established for the 2017/2018 year. This will be the first time a provincial CBA Branch has created a permanent seat on the Executive for an Aboriginal or Indigenous member.  

CBABC Truth and Reconciliation Working Group
The CBABC Executive Committee passed a resolution at its meeting on November 18, 2016 to establish a Truth & Reconciliation (T & R) Working Group, which was approved and launched at Provincial Council on January 28, 2017, with guest speaker, Grand Chief Ed John. The T & R Working Group is composed of members of the CBABC Executive, Provincial Council, Aboriginal Lawyers Forum, Vancouver Aboriginal Law Section Working Group, CBA National Aboriginal Law Section Working Group, Law Society of BC Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee, and the CLEBC Working Group. 

2016 ALF Special Contribution Award Winner: Judge Leonard Marchand
At the 8th Annual ALF Holiday Banquet, Judge Leonard Marchand received the 2016 ALF Special Contribution Award. Judge Marchand has been a tireless champion of Indigenous people and communities in BC. 

2016 ALF Student Contribution Award Winner: Dustin Gagnon
At the 8th Annual ALF Holiday Banquet, Thompson Rivers University Law student, Dustin C. Gagnon (right) received the 2016 ALF Student Contribution Award. 

5th Annual ALF Retreat – Not Just Aboriginal Law: The B to Z of Practice
The 2016 ALF retreat was another great success. Held in Parksville on Vancouver Island, on the traditional unceded territory of the Nanoose First Nation, the retreat focused on various practice areas beyond (or in addition to) Aboriginal Law. The ALF welcomed Judge Alexander Wolf, appointed to the Provincial Court of BC in December 2015, as their special guest and keynote speaker. 

The ALF is grateful to all the sponsors who helped eight Aboriginal students attend the retreat to learn and network with others in the legal profession. 

2016 ALF National Aboriginal Day Online Auction 
The 9th Annual National Aboriginal Day Online Auction raised an incredible $6,000 to support the CBABC ALF. These funds will support Aboriginal law students, graduates and practitioners so they can enhance the stature and influence of Aboriginal people in the legal profession. 

The reception was held at the Skwatchays Lodge, a Vancouver hotel that is owned and operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society, and featured a rising talent showcase performance by Eden Fine Day (Sweetgrass First Nation). 

You’re invited to read more in the Fall 2016 Forum Drum

SAVE THE DATE - June 16, 2017

This year, the ALF 6th Annual Retreat will be held at the Westin Wall Centre in Richmond. The almost full-day retreat will be followed by two Judge’s Panels and the 10th Anniversary National Aboriginal Day Auction Reception. The reception will feature special entertainment by Mi’kmaw comedian Candy Palmater. The ALF is looking forward to seeing you at this special occasion!