The Legal Services Society (LSS) 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, LSS considered:
- the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and Principles,
- the recommendations in Grand Chief Ed John’s 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.
LSS has a disproportionate number of legal aid clients who are Indigenous compared to the population. The RAP will guide LSS’s 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 LSS, the legal system, and the country as a whole.
LSS staff will also have an important personal role to play in increasing awareness and understanding of reconciliation.