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Indigenous legal scholar Dr. Val Napoleon

UVic launches the world's first Indigenous law degree

Feminist, artist, grandmother and embracer of disruption, Dr. Val Napoleon is one of the most influential legal scholars in Canada. She is changing legal education and the lawscape of Canada as co-founder of the Indigenous Law Degree Program.

The joint degree program builds upon our longstanding commitment to, and international reputation in, Indigenous law and Indigenous legal education.  

Read the brief: Indigenous law initiatives at UVic (pdf)
Close-up of totem

The Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU)

ILRU, the only dedicated research centre on Indigenous law in Canada, is committed to the recovery and renaissance of Indigenous laws. It has formed partnerships with more than 40 Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast, researching those peoples’ legal traditions in all their diverse forms and addressing the full scope of laws that any community requires to live peacefully and harmoniously in the world.

Learn more: Indigenous Law Research Unit

The Indigenous Legal Lodge: An invitation

A new Indigenous Legal Lodge will house the Indigenous Law program and ILRU, and will be a national forum for critical engagement, debate, learning, public education and partnership on Indigenous legal traditions and their use, refinement and reconstruction. The design will reflect and honour the long-standing relationships between the law school and local First Nations communities.

Learn more: How you can support the Legal Lodge (pdf)
The leaders of these initiatives, Professors John Borrows and Val Napoleon, have been largely responsible for setting the agenda in understanding and engaging, with rigour and insight, Indigenous law. Their advice had a real impact on our deliberations within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
- Senator Murray Sinclair, Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission