Dr. Val Napoleon elected chair of the international Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights

Val Napoleon

At the 2022 annual general meeting of the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, Dr. Val Napoleon was elected Chair of the Board of Directors, after serving for the past three years on the Board.

“I’m thrilled, it is an honour to serve with a team of talented and dedicated colleagues,” says Dr. Napoleon. “The Urgent Action Fund is an organization with incredible reach and impact around the world in support of women and girls. We mobilize people and resources to make an immediate and tangible impact on the safety and security of women and girls around the world, and we defend and advocate for the improvement of women and girl’s rights where the needs are greatest.”

Dr. Napoleon serves as Interim Dean of Law, Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance, and she is a professor at the University of Victoria (UVic) in the province of British Columbia on the pacific coast of Canada. She is from northeast British Columbia (Treaty 8) and is a member of Saulteau First Nation. She is also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitxsan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan.

Her current research focuses on Indigenous legal traditions (Indigenous legal theories, pedagogies, law and precedent, legal institutions, and legal research methodologies), Indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance. Some of her major initiatives include the JD/JID (joint JD and Indigenous law degree) program at UVic, and establishing the Indigenous Law Research Unit with a number of research partnerships with Indigenous communities and groups in B.C., across Canada, and with international connections. She is an internationally published and acclaimed author, artist, and lecturer on Indigenous law and a passionate advocate for human rights.

The Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights is an international organization that partners with women’s movements worldwide to support women’s human rights defenders striving to create cultures of justice, equality and peace and to build the resilience of women’s rights movements globally.

As a feminist fund that protects, strengthens and sustains women and transgender human rights defenders at critical moments, the Fund intervenes quickly when activists are poised to make great gains or face serious threats to their lives and work. It works to respond to requests from women’s human rights defenders within 72 hours and have funds on the ground within 17 days.

For more information and for an overview of Fund projects and successes, please visit: urgentactionfund.org


Ivan Watson
Faculty of Law Communications
University of Victoria
Tel: 250-418-0700
Email: lawcomm@uvic.ca