FACL BC Statement on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2021
On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (British Columbia) Society (FACL BC) affirms our commitment to reconciliation and our dedication to acting in solidarity with our Indigenous colleagues, clients, and community members.
As Asian-Canadian legal professionals, we work within a colonial legal system that has caused and upheld devastating injustices against Indigenous peoples and lands. We acknowledge our privilege and encourage our members to learn about the oppression of Indigenous peoples. We are committed to listening to the diverse voices of Indigenous peoples as we work together in the process of reconciliation, and we affirm our support for decolonization on Turtle Island.
As more truths are brought to light, such as the uncovering of over a thousand unmarked children’s graves at former Residential School sites across the country,1 the harmful legacy of Residential Schools continues to be exhibited. We stand with Indigenous communities mourning the lives of the children found at these sites. It is imperative that we listen to and support Residential School survivors and survivors of intergenerational trauma. We encourage our communities to listen to Phyllis (Jack) Webstad’s story and participate in Orange Shirt Day to affirm that “Every Child Matters.”2
We urge our members and communities to listen to the voices of Indigenous advocates, who continue to educate the Canadian public about ongoing colonialism in Canada, and who have outlined clear calls to action for governments, organizations, and individuals.
We also encourage support of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We echo the Indigenous Bar Association’s call to implement these calls.3
We encourage our members and communities to refer to the resources below and take action in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
1 https://ottawacitizen.com/news/canada/how-canada-forgot-about-more-than-1308-graves-at-former-residential-schools/wcm/18d376d7-7abc-42b6-a459-d964dc7ca844; https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/residential-schools-sites-investigations-1.6140931