The Law Society of Manitoba recognizes the significance of the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This new federal statutory holiday is an opportunity for us all to recognize and reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools. For the legal profession, it is also a day to reflect on the role lawyers played in upholding laws and institutions that perpetrated harm against Indigenous peoples and to consider what we can do – as individuals and in our workplaces – to advance reconciliation.
In honour of the day and in the spirit of reconciliation, Law Society staff delivered hampers to clients of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, a family resource organization that provides community based programs and services to the Indigenous community in keeping with Indigenous values. Law Society staff held a donation drive for personal hygiene items, which were donated to Ma Mawi for inclusion in hampers. Today, staff are wearing orange shirts to remember the survivors of residential schools and are invited to spend a portion of their workday furthering their education on residential schools and their continuing impact on Indigenous peoples and communities.