Legal Aid BC has adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to guide decision making and service delivery at all levels of the organization. The plan demonstrates the society's commitment to improving access to justice for Indigenous peoples in BC, and to being a leader in the journey to reconciliation in Canada.
To create the plan, Legal Aid BC considered:
- the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and Principles;
- the recommendations in Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification, a report on Indigenous child welfare in BC;
- the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and
- the need to reduce the number of Indigenous people in the child protection and criminal justice systems.
Legal Aid BC has a disproportionate number of clients who are Indigenous compared to the population. The RAP will guide our work both in advancing reconciliation and ensuring that legal aid services better meet the needs of Indigenous peoples in BC. The strategies set out in the plan are organized under three pillars: Education, Equity, and Empowerment. These pillars are foundational to advancing reconciliation within Legal Aid BC, the legal system, and the country as a whole.
Legal Aid BC staff will also have an important personal role to play in increasing awareness and understanding of reconciliation.