Law Society appoints Sarah Lanceley to Indigenous Advisory Committee

Sarah Lanceley, a Legal Aid Alberta Lawyer since 2012, was recently appointed to the Law Society of Alberta’s new Indigenous Advisory Committee, established as part of the society’s commitment to respond to the TRC Calls to Action.

Legal Aid Alberta lawyer Sarah Lanceley has been appointed to a Law Society of Alberta committee aimed at advancing the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The Indigenous Advisory Committee was established as part of the Law Society’s commitment to respond to the TRC Calls to Action, and will collect feedback and provide input into Law Society efforts related to Indigenous Albertans. The Law Society hopes that a thoughtful and collaborative approach will strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples and communities across the province.

For Lanceley, a member of the Mistawasis First Nation, located in North Central Saskatchewan, it is an opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to the committee’s objectives, particularly surrounding access to justice for Indigenous peoples and cultural competency development for lawyers. 

“I felt compelled as an Indigenous person and a criminal defence lawyer to assist in any initiative to advance the TRC Calls to Action,” said Lanceley. “I feel privileged to be asked to contribute as a committee member and excited to get started. I am also hoping to learn from this experience and gather information that will be helpful to my practice with Indigenous people and to my work here at Legal Aid.”

Lanceley said that because she is in the courtroom on a daily basis, the experience offers her a perspective that will be a benefit to the work the committee is setting out to do.

“Because Legal Aid Alberta provides services to a substantial number of Indigenous Albertans, my work here has allowed me to work for Indigenous people on a daily basis and to see firsthand their issues with access to justice and the necessity of cultural competency for lawyers and Judges in our courtrooms,” she said.

Lanceley joined Legal Aid Alberta in 2012 where she began working in the Legal Services Centre before moving over to Criminal law. Currently focusing on youth criminal law, Lanceley has acted as duty counsel in Family Court, Child Welfare Court, Criminal Court and Youth Court. In addition to youth criminal matters, she continues to act as duty counsel in Mental Health Court since it started in April 2018.

The following people have been appointed to the Indigenous Advisory Committee:

  • Four Indigenous lawyers: Racquel Fraser and Kane Richards for two year appointments and Harold Robinson and Sarah Lanceley for one year appointments;
  • One non-Indigenous lawyer, Michael Pflueger for a one year appointment;
  • Two Indigenous members of the public: Katelyn Lucas for a two year appointment and Jennifer Big Crow for a one year appointment;
  • Law Society staff member Donna Moore.

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