To regulate the legal professions effectively in the public interest, we are committed to being responsive to the diverse needs of all Ontarians. The Law Society recognizes that First Nation, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples may face unique access to justice challenges, and is committed to building relationships between Indigenous Peoples and Canadian legal structures and institutions in a manner that respects Indigenous values, beliefs and legal systems. We are leading the way by building equity and access to justice principles into our services for the public and supports for lawyers and paralegals.
As the broader movement of reconciliation between Canada and indigenous peoples takes shape, we too are working to build bridges and common understanding through engagement and dialogue. We will use what we learn to improve our services, as well as access to our services, by the FNMI community.
The Law Society works closely with FNMI lawyers and paralegals, and are now extending our outreach with the following four goals:
- Understand access to justice issues from the perspective of FNMI citizens.
- Address the unique needs of FNMI peoples within our regulatory processes.
- Build cultural competence to help lawyers and paralegals in Ontario recognize and respond to their clients' diverse legal service needs.
- Support FNMI lawyers and paralegals to help ensure the legal professions reflect the public they serve.