June is Indigenous History Month as we honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous communities.
We also recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21st. This is an official day of celebration to recognize and honour the culture, unique history, outstanding achievements and influences by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities across Canada have celebrated their history and culture on this day or near this day because of the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. This day is celebrated by ceremonies and celebrations that highlight religion, spirituality, artistry, cultural performances, and activities.
We encourage our members to recognize Indigenous History Month and to continue their learning on an ongoing basis by reviewing the Indigenous and Truth and Reconciliation related resources on our Practice Resource Search.
The Society’s Equity & Access work originates from and continues to be motivated by the recommendations from the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall Jr. Prosecution. Donald Marshall Jr.’s life work grounds us in ensuring that we create a legal profession that reflects the public it serves and provides legal services free from all forms of discrimination and racism.
The Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group is dedicated to advising, monitoring and supporting Council in their work and governance on Truth & Reconciliation. Bookmark this webpage (https://nsbs.org/news-categories/society-news/trc/) to stay connected with the latest TRC Working Group updates and education sessions.
Nominations are now open for the Society’s new Award for Mi’kmaq & Indigenous Peoples Excellence in the Legal Profession (AMIE) which recognizes outstanding Mi’kmaq and Indigenous lawyers within Nova Scotia who have contributed to their community, their Nation, the legal profession and to the Society. Review the award criteria or submit an online nomination form by June 30th.
The NSBS Medallion and Eagle Feather
The Eagle feather is mentioned in the L’nu (Miꞌkmaq) creation stories where Kitpu (Eagle) presents one of its feathers to Kluskap to remind us about our human responsibilities to the land and to all creation. The feather asks us to contemplate the question – what are our responsibilities? Here, the Society uses the Eagle feather to remind us about our responsibilities to our members and to the public.
Creation stories help explain the larger world to our members. Every culture, society and community has one or more creation stories. Sometimes there are periods of time where the story takes a new direction. The NSBS Creation Story begins in 1749 and continues to the present.
The Gold & Black Medallion symbolizes the Society’s Presidential office. The medallion was commissioned and made by Jocelyn Marshall of Membertou First Nation. Jocelyn is the niece of the late Donald Marshall Jr. whose name is synonymous with legal reform in NS. The medallion is to remind the President, the Council, and the Society that the story of Donald Marshall Jr is very much a part of the NSBS story
written and shared by 2021-2022 NSBS President Tuma Young QC