2021 Indigenous Bar Association Conference

The Indigenous Bar Association (IBA) is excited to announce it is hosting a hybrid in-person and online annual conference from Thursday, October 21 to Saturday, October 23. The conference will take place at the River Cree Resort and Casino, on Maskekosihk (Enoch Cree Nation), in Treaty 6 territory – near Edmonton, Alberta.

Conference registration is officially open here for both in-person and online attendance. A limited number of rooms are being set aside by the host hotel until October 1 for conference attendees.

“After a year-and-a-half being apart, we are excited to safely welcome our growing family of Indigenous lawyers to reconnect and learn from each other’s experiences advancing Indigenous justice during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Drew Lafond, President of the IBA.

Conference Theme

The 2021 IBA conference is being held under the theme of  ‘ᐁᒫᑎᓇᒪᑫᐤ ᑭᐢᑫᔨᐦᑕᒧᐏᓇ ᐅᐦᒋ ᒫᑎᓇᒪᑫᐤ ᐅᑌᐦ ᓀᑳᓄᑌ᙮ / emâtinamakew kiskeyihtamowina ohci mâtinamakew oteh nekânote,’ in nêhiyawewin, the host territory’s language, or ‘Sharing Experiences Towards a Shared Future’ in English.

The theme recognizes the many recent experiences Indigenous practitioners can share and learn from: the pandemic, national legislation affirming the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), increasing advocacy on addressing the legacies of residential school, and policy moves that are starting to recognize a multi-juridical reality. The IBA is honoured to welcome distinguished Indigenous speakers and panelists to share their experiences with these, and other topics, as Indigenous communities look at realizing transformative change in a post-pandemic world.

Program Highlights

This year’s conference will feature:

  • A full day of continuing professional development sessions, including workshops on legal ethics and limitation periods
  • A panel analyzing transboundary Indigenous rights, post-Deseautel decision
  • A film screening of Klabona Keepers
  • A panel featuring international perspectives on UNDRIP
  • A welcome reception and a gala honouring the newest Indigenous Peoples Counsel member.
  • Cultural presentations, including a performance by Chubby Cree

COVID-19 Protocols

The in-person conference will strictly adhere to COVID-19 safety measures. In-person participants must provide proof of full vaccination and answer screening questions to enter the conference. Masks and physical distancing will be mandatory. Any participants who cannot travel to Alberta for the event will be able to view all proceedings and participate virtually by signing up for an online conference registration.

For full conference details, sponsorship information, and to register for the event, visit indigenousbar.ca/conference.