Understanding Cultural Sensitivities

  • February 05, 2020
  • Chief Kelly Larocca, Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation

The single most significant step a lawyer can take in serving the aboriginal community is to avoid assumption making. In fact, it’s best to recognize that each First Nation client is unique and assume that you know very little about the history and culture of the communities you serve.

Elders, knowledge keepers, and citizens each hold a part of a community’s history. Sometimes the oral histories provided will have variations on a theme but they are typical to reconcile. Particularly in aboriginal rights litigation, lawyers need to be mindful that each segment or individual in a community will have a story to tell much of which will be quite relevant.