June is National Indigenous History Month and we are proud to celebrate the vibrant cultures, unique histories, and crucial contributions of Indigenous peoples to the development of Canada. It is also a time for all Canadians to critically reflect on how we can collectively advance reconciliation—a process that involves acknowledging and repairing harms, rebuilding and forging new relationships, healing, and finding new ways forward.
From January to April, Indigenous youth in grade 7 & 8 from William Whyte Middle School gathered with volunteer Indigenous lawyers and law students for a total of 10 sessions to learn the basics of the Canadian criminal justice system and the incorporation of Indigenous practices.
Year after year, Level is lucky to work with some of Canada's most impressive and ambitious law students. This year is no exception! In 2017/18 student executives at Level's Université de Montréal Chapter accepted submissions from across Canada and edited and published a journal related to Level's 2017/18 theme: Advancing Reconciliation in the Justice Sector.
Pictured Above: Facilitators from Biidaaban who volunteered for this session: (L-R) Tom Dampier, Christine Douglas, Elder Lorraine McRae, Deanna Sheridan, and Brittany Simcoe Article by Thomas Milne, edited by Lisa Del Col
On Monday, November 20th, Level, in partnership with the University of Calgary Faculty of Law (“Faculty of Law”), hosted a powerful reconciliation-focused event on campus at Murray Fraser Hall. The event, titled “Building Better Lawyers: Your Role in Advancing Reconciliation”, invited law students, faculty and local legal professionals to hear from Indigenous leaders about the lived realities of Indigenous peoples, and to gain practical tools for being better allies in order to more effectively advance reconciliation.
This spring, Level had the exciting opportunity to further expand IYOP with a new partner school located on the Beausoleil First Nation in Ontario. Over the course of two successive weeks, Level's volunteer lawyers, clerks and paralegals worked with the grade 7 & 8 students from Christian Island Elementary School.
Level is a small organization that is ambitious about promoting change by breaking down barriers to justice and building relationships. We rely on the support of our community members to propel our innovative ideas and to help us achieve our #levelbest.
Whether it’s a bake sale, human rights conference or a dinner party hosted for friends, every fundraising event and every donation makes a significant impact.