CALT response to motion at Law Society of Alberta re mandatory Indigenous cultural competence requirement

Statement from the Canadian Association of Law Teachers re Motion before the Law Society of Alberta on Mandatory Indigenous Cultural Competence requirement

The Canadian Association of Law Teachers notes that on Monday, the Law Society of Alberta will consider a motion challenging the basis on which continuing professional development (CPD) on Indigenous intercultural competency has been mandated by the Law Society of Alberta.

The Canadian Association of Law Teachers is an association made up mainly of teachers in University J.D./LL.B. programs in Canadian Common and Civil Law law schools.  However, CALT approaches legal education as a continuum which continues throughout a lawyer's professional life.  In a letter dated November 30th 2022 (in response to a call issued September 22, 2022) CALT submitted a letter to the Federation of Canadian Law Societies about the upcoming National Requirement Review.  In that letter, we indicated CALT's strong support for the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as they relate to law schools and legal regulators.  

We have read the Letter in Support of Mandatory Indigenous Cultural Competency Training sent to the Benchers of the Law Society of Alberta on February 2, 2023 and signed by many lawyers and law students.   This letter makes important, clear and direct arguments against the motion.  CALT thanks the authors of this letter and would adopt the arguments and conclusions contained within it. 

We have also read the statement of CALE, the Canadian Association for Legal Ethics, in response to the Alberta motion.  We would also endorse and adopt the position articulated by that Association, that all Canadian legal regulators should develop and adopt a requirement that all licensees complete Indigenous intercultural competence training. CALT thanks CALE for its attention to this issue.

CALT Board of Directors

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