The Indigenous Bar Association commends the University of Victoria on the introduction of a new joint degree program in Canadian common law and indigenous legal orders

OTTAWA, ON – The IBA enthusiastically applauds the University of Victoria’s development of a joint degree program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders. Students will graduate after four years with a Juris Doctor and a Juris Indigenarum Doctor (JID). News was released last week confirming funding in the provincial budget. This will be the first program of its kind in the world.

The new JID degree has been made possible due to the hard work and dedication of John Borrows and Val Napoleon, University of Victoria professors and IBA Indigenous Peoples Counsel award recipients. The program highlights that settler law is not the only law in Canada by providing formal recognition and training in the laws of an Indigenous nation at an accredited Canadian law school. Professor Karen Drake recently published a paper that notes “[r]econciliation requires replacing…colonial policies with recognition of Aboriginal peoples’ right to self-determination, which includes the right to revitalize and implement [our] own laws and governance systems.”1 The JID is an exciting and important step forward in furthering this objective.

The program is awaiting approval to commence in September 2018. The University of Victoria is requesting help getting it started. The IBA requests that if you know students who may be interested in the program, please encourage them to contact the university at lawadmss@uvic.ca. If your organization is in a position to offer a scholarship or bursary, please email the university at lawalum@uvic.ca. Further information and a program brochure can be found at https://www.uvic.ca/law/about/indigenous/jid/. The IBA wishes the University of Victoria success in its new endeavor.

The Indigenous Bar Association is a national association comprised of Indigenous lawyers (practicing and non-practicing), legal academics and scholars, articling clerks and law students, including graduate and post-graduate law students. We are mandated to promote the advancement of legal and social justice for Indigenous peoples in Canada and to reform of laws and policies affecting Indigenous peoples.

For further information contact Scott Robertson, President of the Indigenous Bar Association at srobertson@indigenousbar.ca