Free legal resources in First Nation languages now available from Law Society

Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibwe speakers can now access legal information in their own languages

TORONTO, June 16, 2016 /CNW/ - The Law Society of Upper Canada has launched a quick reference legal guide and two fact sheets in Cree, Oji-Cree and Northwestern Ojibwe, in addition to English and French. The resources provide information about Law Society services and sources of free and low-cost legal information and advice and are geared towards Indigenous people.

"This is a first for our organization," says Law Society Treasurer Janet Minor. "We have a long history of working with Indigenous lawyers and paralegals and we have benefitted enormously from their input and insights. We are now strengthening our engagement and reaching out to leaders, citizens and communities, to better understand and address their unique legal needs. We have created these materials, in a number of languages, with those needs in mind."

The guide, Handling Everyday Legal Problems, includes brief descriptions and contact information for free, legal information sources. It also outlines how to access no cost and low-cost legal service providers with a focus on services for Indigenous people.

The first fact sheet, What the Law Society Does, provides information on the Law Society's complaints process. The second, Working with a Lawyer or Paralegal, offers practical tips on hiring and working with a legal professional. 

The Law Society worked in collaboration with Indigenous advisors to ensure the materials are clear and accessible, and reflect the needs of Indigenous people. 

"I commend the Law Society for engaging First Nations leaders and citizens in improving access to its services and increasing awareness of available legal services. The public education materials the Law Society has produced demonstrate a significant commitment to enhancing access to justice for Indigenous people," says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee.  

The resources are part of the Law Society's broader commitment to renew and enhance its Indigenous Initiatives. Ongoing work includes expanding engagement with Indigenous communities, establishing an Indigenous Advisory Group, developing a Certified Specialist Program in Indigenous Legal Issues and responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action.

The Law Society of Upper Canada regulates lawyers and paralegals in the public interest. The Law Society is committed to helping people with their legal needs and supporting the advancement of reconciliation. More information is available at lsuc.on.ca/indigenous-initiatives.

SOURCE The Law Society of Upper Canada

For further information: Media contact: Denise McCourtie, Communications Advisor, dmccourt@lsuc.on.ca, or 416-947-3362. Follow us on Twitter @LawsocietyLSUC

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