Skip to main content

First students of new UVic Indigenous law program set to graduate

UVic Indigenous language story

The University of Victoria says the inaugural class of its Indigenous law program will graduate this year, marking a first for this type of program anywhere in the world.

The UVic Indigenous law program combines Canadian common law (JD) and Indigenous legal orders (JID), giving graduating students professional degrees in both forms of law.

The program was a first of its kind in the world when it launched four years ago, according to the University of Victoria, and gives graduates a background on a range of fields, including constitutionalism and Indigenous governance, administrative law, criminal law, environmental protection, and more.

"When I first realized the unique way that I was going to learn the law, I felt both excited for the journey and humbled by the responsibility gifted to me," said Amanda Vick, a member of the program's first graduating class and member of the Gitxsan Nation.

"We need more people in the legal sphere who are able to appreciate and utilize the knowledge of different legal orders in their practise," she said.

The inaugural class of 23 students is celebrating the milestone in a special ceremony on Saturday, before receiving their degrees during UVic's summer convocation ceremonies in June.

The Indigenous law program was developed as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and receives funding from both the provincial and federal governments, as well as from private and corporate donors and foundations.

Work is also underway on the National Centre for Indigenous Laws, which is set to begin construction at UVic this spring.

"This is an historic moment, and I am honoured to recognize and congratulate the graduating students of the first JD/JID cohort," said UVic president Kevin Hall.

"They are equipped with unique knowledge, skills and experiences that will enable them to build bridges between multiple legal systems," he said.

"I look forward to seeing the impact they make on the legal landscape in Canada, and on our ability to move meaningfully and collaboratively towards resolution of the significant and ongoing problems caused by colonialism," Hall added. Top Stories

'No concessions' St-Onge says in $100M a year news deal with Google

The Canadian government has reached a deal with Google over the Online News Act that will see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to publishers, and continue to allow access to Canadian news content on its platform. This comes after Google had threatened to block news on its platform when the contentious new rules come into effect next month.


opinion Don Martin: With Trudeau resignation fever rising, a Conservative nightmare appears

With speculation rising that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will follow his father's footsteps in the snow to a pre-election resignation, political columnist Don Martin focuses on one Liberal cabinet minister who's emerging as leadership material -- and who stands out as a fresh-faced contrast to the often 'angry and abrasive' leader of the Conservatives.

Stay Connected