The Honourable Madam Justice Ardith Walpetko We’dalks Walkem, with the support of the Law Society of BC and CLEBC, produced the powerful short film “But I Was Wearing A Suit”, which was presented at the Law Society of BC’s Truth and Reconciliation Symposium in November 2017. In this film, Indigenous lawyers tell stories exposing racism and bias in the legal profession. That short documentary, now with over 16,000 views, concluded with the question: “If this is how Indigenous lawyers are treated in the legal system, what does this say about how the legal system treats Indigenous people in general?”
Part II of this documentary “Experiences of Indigenous Peoples Accessing the Justice System” has just been completed under the direction of Madam Justice Walkem and is a continuation of the grassroots project of a group of Indigenous Lawyers, with the support of CLEBC, the Law Society of BC, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. The narrative for this documentary was provided by The Honourable Steven L. Point.
To produce this video, personal stories were shared by many Indigenous people about micro-aggressions or micro-discriminations they suffered during their involvement in the legal system. Over 50 people responded to the initial survey from which stories were selected to be included in Part II of the documentary. Those who were not comfortable sharing their stories in the video had their stories read by others to protect their anonymity.
It is hoped that these videos will expand awareness of the micro-aggressions and micro-discriminations that are being suffered by Indigenous clients in the justice system, and encourage a much-needed discussion about stereotyping and bias.
We encourage you to view Part II of the video and to share this link with your network.