It takes personal work, but lawyers can do a lot more to model reconciliation in their practices.

It is heartbreaking that so little seems to change.

The report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released on June 3, almost four years to the day after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and 23 years after the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.  Each report heightened the sense of urgency, if not emergency, about inequities faced by Indigenous peoples.  Each report documented evidence about systems and structures which are not serving Indigenous peoples well, and Indigenous peoples rates of sickness, incarceration and death at much higher rates than other Canadians.

Why is it so difficult for this country to face and address the persistent inequities in this country? I can see three reasons.

Firstly, change is difficult because Canada does not have a shared story of itself.  Barack Obama recently reflected on the growing disconnect in the U.S. between political parties and ideologies, and noted that there is a risk to the American shared story of itself.  Their story is becoming fragmented, and a country’s ability to democratically govern well is dependent on its common shared story.  The irony is that Canada has never had a shared story of itself.  Settler Canada and Indigenous Canada have very different stories. There’s truth in both.  And there are some lies in the Settler Canadian version.  The difficulty is in building enough trust to hear each other.

Read more at National Magazine

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