Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU)

Teacher and People Raven art
“Teacher and People,” Kokum Raven painting by Val Napoleon. Image used with permission from the artist.

The Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU), housed in the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law, is an academic research institute dedicated to the revitalization of Indigenous law and governance. We believe Indigenous laws need to be taken seriously as laws. Our vision is for Indigenous laws to be living and in use on the ground, and to be researched, taught and theorized about just as other great legal traditions of the world are.

We partner with Indigenous communities to articulate their own legal principles and processes, on their own terms, in order to effectively respond to today’s complex challenges. We collaborate with communities by invitation and focus on the legal questions that drive our research partners’ needs and goals. We also work to deepen broader education and engagement with Indigenous law through the delivery of workshops and the development of academic and public legal education resources.

Our goal is to create sites of respectful dialogue and collaboration to reinvigorate communities of Indigenous legal practice locally and globally. The revitalization of Indigenous laws and governance is essential to re-building deliberative democracy and healthy citizenries in self-governing, lawful communities. Creating more respectful and symmetrical relationships across legal traditions is a necessary part of building and maintaining robust reconciliation within and between peoples, now and for future generations.

For more information, visit our website