Inspired by Truth and Reconciliation
ReconciliAction report to guide legal clinic in spirit of indigenous principles
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.