Justice Canada allots funding to back uOttawa Law’s new Indigenous law certificate program

Funding will be used to support certificate program's 'Visual Laboratory on Indigenous Legal Orders'

Justice Canada allots funding to back uOttawa Law’s new Indigenous law certificate program

The Department of Justice Canada announced that it had allotted $596,565 in funding over the next three years to back a new Indigenous law certificate program launched by the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law – Civil Law Section this month.

Initiated by professor Eva Ottawa, the Certificate in Indigenous Law aims to help Indigenous students take ownership of their legal systems and minimize the culture shock they experience during their law studies. They will study the legal orders of different Indigenous peoples in Canada and compare them with the state legal order in certain key areas of law. It is the first Indigenous law program in Canada offered entirely in French.

The justice ministry said that the funding aligns with Canada’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 50. This action calls upon the federal government to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes for the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice in line with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

“Revitalizing Indigenous legal traditions is central to reconciliation. That is why implementing CTA 50 remains a priority for our government,” said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti. “I am pleased to support the University of Ottawa with their new initiative that promotes the revitalization of Indigenous laws, through partnership with Indigenous peoples.”

The law school will use the funding to support the certificate program’s “Visual Laboratory on Indigenous Legal Orders.” This initiative will highlight Indigenous justice systems and laws through short audio-visual vignettes featuring stories from participating First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities.

“The Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa has been a pioneer in teaching and research pertaining to Indigenous legal orders starting in the early 2000s,” said uOttawa Law Civil Section dean Marie-Eve Sylvestre. “I am extremely grateful to Justice Canada for supporting the creation of the Visual Lab in support of the Certificate in Indigenous law.”

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