CBA Truth and Reconciliation Task Force named

  • August 22, 2018

Nearly 100 members answered the call this summer for candidates to sit on the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force created to develop CBA responses to the TRC’s Calls to Action that will help establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Outgoing CBA President Kerry Simmons, Q.C., will co-chair the task force along with Magnolia Unka-Wool, who works with Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP in Toronto. Aviva Rotenberg will be the staff liaison. Task force members are:

  • Melissa D. Atkinson, with Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto
  • Wayne Barkauskas of Wise Scheible Barkauskas in Calgary
  • John P. Brown of McCarthy Tétrault in Toronto
  • Brian J. Hebert of McKiggan Hebert in Halifax
  • Jameela Jeeroburkhan of Dionne Schulze S.E.N.C. in Montreal
  • Saul Joseph of Miller Thomson LLP in Vancouver
  • Joseph Murdoch-Flowers of the Nunavut Justice Centre in Iqaluit
  • Sarah Rauch of Rauch Darby & Company in Vancouver
  • John Stephaniuk of Thompson Dorfman Sweatman in Winnipeg

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its report in 2015, the CBA urged government to adopt all 94 Calls to Action. The resolution passed at the August 2016 CBA Council meeting set out the CBA’s commitment to advance those CTAs, many of which have an implication for the justice system.

Task Force members are charged with developing a number of deliverables, including a training component for use in CBA professional development programs to educate lawyers on the legacy of Indian residential school system and the TRC Calls to Action, along with a plan for implementing the component; CBA policies; materials for teaching cultural competency, among others. See the task force mandate for the complete list.

The term of the task force runs from Aug. 1 to Jan. 31, 2019, by which time there should be initiatives underway or recommended to start.