In­spired by Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion

Rec­on­cil­iAc­tion re­port to guide le­gal clinic in spirit of in­dige­nous prin­ci­ples

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL -

The Hamil­ton Com­mu­nity Le­gal Clinic has re­leased a re­port — in­spired by the fed­eral Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion — to be a “frame­work for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion for our non-in­dige­nous or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

The re­port, called A Jour­ney to Rec­on­cil­iAc­tion — Calls to Ac­tion, con­sists of 16 rec­om­men­da­tions that ap­ply to the clinic’s work. Its authors hope the re­port will be a model for other or­ga­ni­za­tions.

The Hamil­ton Com­mu­nity Le­gal Clinic (HCLC) is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides le­gal ser­vices — as well as pub­lic le­gal ed­u­ca­tion, com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and law re­form — for low-in­come res­i­dents of Hamil­ton.

In 2013, the HCLC cre­ated an ini­tia­tive called YÉN: TENE (Mo­hawk for “you and I will go there to­gether”), to try to build re­la­tion­ships be­tween the clinic and the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity.

Lyn­don Ge­orge, in­dige­nous jus­tice co­or­di­na­tor at the Hamil­ton Com­mu­nity Le­gal Clinic, said, “In the spirit of in­dige­nous prin­ci­ples of shar­ing knowl­edge and wis­dom, we will be pass­ing on the re­port to our com­mu­nity part­ners and oth­ers in the com­mu­nity.”

Rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude calls to “hon­our in­dige­nous laws, tra­di­tions, prin­ci­ples, cus­toms and ap­pli­ca­tions as an in­flu­en­tial guide for the de­vel­op­ment/re­vi­sion of our po­lices, prac­tices and pro­ce­dures.”

The re­port notes that the long-term suf­fer­ing caused by the res­i­den­tial school sys­tem will not go away on its own. Sig­nif­i­cant change is re­quired to over­come the pain in­flicted on in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.

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