INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

Raminder K. Hayre Law Corporation* and RKH Consulting Services Ltd. (the “Companies”) are both situated on the stolen and unceded land of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. Not only do the Companies condemn the actions of Residential Schools , they promote the requirement for immediate Truth and Reconciliation initiatives through the “Calls to Action” or otherwise. Many Indigenous individuals of Canada are less than one-generation away from having a direct link to the trauma and impact of Residential Schools which sought to eradicate the Indigenous of their identity and heritage. 

 

“We instill in them a pronounced distaste for the native life so that they will be humiliated when reminded of their origin. When they graduate from our institutions, the children have lost everything Native in their blood.”

- Bishop Vital Grandin, 1875

 

All of the land that we live on in Canada (formerly known as, “Turtle Island”), was colonised by the British and government proceeding governments. Indigenous Land is still being regulated under, “The Indian Act”, and our neighbours are fighting for rights to dignity, inclusivity, equity, and most importantly, clean drinking water.

 

The Companies stand in solidarity with justice for all Indigenous peoples. 

EQUITY + INCLUSION

LGBTQ2SI+ communities are among some of the most influential in not just the legal profession, but outside of it too. The Companies are fully supportive in the practice directives which require those in the judicial system to use pronouns.

 

The Companies are also big proponents of assisting in the profession in becoming more inclusive by changing forms of address to “Mr. Justice”, instead of, “My Lord” - for example. Though to some it may seem moot, it really does help enhance an equitable workplace and judiciary. Change is hard, and we respect that it happens in various stages. 

 

You can learn more about gender + sexual identity here. The CBA's SOGIC section (sexual orientation and gender identity community section) is very active in promoting this knowledge.

CULTURAL COMPETENCY

There are several local bar programs that provide a safe-space for lawyers of various backgrounds.

 

These include:

Cultural competency is something that is slowly becoming recognised as a requirement. These themes include understanding [inter-generational] trauma, different facets of privilege, unconscious bias, and the role that systems have in perpetuating old views and subconsciously, racism. 

FACLBC put together an amazing documentary which addresses these biases in their documentary, "But, I look like a lawyer", which sheds light on racialized experiences of Pan-Asian lawyers, students, Professors, and more. 

MENTAL WELLNESS

The legal profession has come a long way when it comes to addressing "mental wellness" in the profession. This includes the Law Society of B.C. introducing a, "Mental Health Taskforce".

Even though it is addressed, the legal system as a whole has yet to widely accept the requirement for firm-structures to change in order to create, "work-life balance". The billable target, competition from law school through to partnership and beyond, is inherited through generations of lawyers. 

It perpetuates mental health concerns like anxiety and depression, contributes to drug + alcohol abuse, and suicide.

Read articles on these topics here

ACCESS[IBILITY] TO JUSTICE

Access to Justice is a "hot topic" in the legal profession at the moment. Whether it is giving the lay person more access, providing seamless systems, or pro-bono - there has been a lot done, and more to do. The Civil Resolution Tribunal, and new Small Claims online systems were created in an attempt to resolve certain types of conflict faster, and without counsel.

Available to some of the public is the South Asian Legal Clinic ("SALCBC"), as well as Legal Aid and Access Pro-Bono.

The topic of "access" includes accommodating for individuals with physical and invisible disabilities. Those that are visually and hearing impaired, physically disabled, and invisibly affected by chronic illness and pain. There are so many barriers that as a society we ignore, all because we are not like them - this is another form of unconscious bias. 

A part of this plays into cultural competency, racial difference, and assuming that even everyone that looks like you has the same privilege, experience, and resources. It is virtually impossible as each individual lives an authentic, and unique life. 

Changes that have started, but have yet to widely expand in [judicial] systems, include:

  • Transcription services.

  • Interpreters of more backgrounds (on top of those already available).

  • Ease of entry in and out for those in wheelchairs, or other limitations.

  • Furniture accommodation.

  • Bathroom considerations for those that do not define with a cis or heterosexual identity.