University of Victoria Makes History Offering Indigenous And Non-Indigenous Law Program

The University of Victoria will be the first institution in the world to offer a combined Indigenous and non-Indigenous law program.

The one of a kind law program will allow students to learn about different areas of Indigenous law which include: environmental protection, Indigenous governance, housing and education.

The focus of the program is to rebuild Indigenous law and practices, says Val Napolean, Law Foundation Chair of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria.

We managed ourselves collectively through comprehensive systems of law and all of that was pushed back by colonial stereotypes of lawlessness. This program is about rebuilding Indigenous law in a way that it’s a part of governance, it’s a part of whatever Indigenous people want to do.

Students enrolled will graduate with two professional degrees. The first in Canadian Common Law and the other in Indigenous Legal Orders.

The law program will be available this September and many students are already showing interest says Napoleon.

The program has received two million dollars in funding from the BC Government.

The funding was a commitment the province made in its 2018 Budget to improve the reconciliation of Indigenous people.

About the Author

Kristen Berkeley
Kristen is a multimedia journalist, reporter and producer at CKLB. Originally from Toronto, Kristen was interested in Indigenous issues and decided to relocate to Yellowknife to join CKLB. Kristen received her education from York University with degrees in Political Science and Communication. She is also a graduate from the Seneca-at-York Broadcast Journalism program. If you want to get in contact with Kristen, send her an email at

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