The Indigenous Bar Association (IBA) is “a non-profit professional organization for Indian, Inuit and Métis persons trained in the field of law.” The organization aims to “foster public awareness within the legal community, the Indigenous community and the general public in respect of legal and social issues of concern to Indigenous peoples in Canada.” In 2013 the IBA held its 25th Annual Conference on the theme of “Peace, Friendship & Respect: A Critical Examination of the Honour of the Crown on the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Proclamation and the Treaty of Niagara.”
Although the IBA exists for Indigenous practitioners of law, it welcomes non-Indigenous people to its conferences, and one of its objectives is to raise awareness among the general public and the Canadian legal community about Indigenous legal issues. The IBA conducts workshops on the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and comments on legislation related to Indigenous peoples that is moving through the Canadian Parliament.
Indigenous Bar Association- 26th Annual Fall Conference
The Indigenous Bar Association hosted the annual fall conference in 2014 in Calgary, Alberta. The Conference was called “Enriching Canada with Indigenous Laws and Perspectives.” It was a three day conference consisting of a “student day and two conference days, as well as a Gala banquet and the Indigenous Bar Association Annual General Meeting.”
Speakers at the Conference consisted of leading Indigenous legal scholars such as John Burrows. Specific topics included “Indigenous Laws in Action and Bringing Indigenous Laws and Perspectives into Canadian Legal Education”. Themes of Indigenous community development and Indigenous perspectives of the Federal Court [of Canada] were included in the conference agenda. The conference was an enriching opportunity for Indigenous and non- Indigenous people with an interest in Indigenous law to learn and broaden their perspective on Indigenous law and society in Canada.