Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) President and CEO, David Field, issued the following statement regarding the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:
As National Aboriginal Day approaches next week, on behalf of LAO, I want to thank the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, particularly the survivors who shared their stories. The report highlights the continued disenfranchisement of First Nation, Métis and Inuit, which has contributed to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples in both the criminal justice and child welfare systems.
LAO also commends the Government of Ontario for its apology and commitment to closing gaps, removing barriers and creating a culturally relevant and responsive justice system.
Like the Ontario government, LAO is committed to working with Aboriginal communities and the provincial and federal governments to implement the Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, particularly those addressed to the justice community.
LAO will continue to build upon its Aboriginal Justice Strategy to address key elements in the report. Most recently, LAO has focused on providing additional and improved Gladue services, sustainable funding and support for community-driven alternatives to traditional court proceedings, and educational and cultural opportunities for staff.
True reconciliation can only happen through reflection, action, and partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities. LAO will continue to work in this manner, embracing the spirit of the report.
President and CEO
Legal Aid Ontario
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