To help revitalize Indigenous legal systems and provide a respectful welcome to Indigenous learners on an academic path in law, the University of Ottawa’s Civil Law Section has launched a new certificate program in Indigenous law. It is the first French-language Indigenous law program in Canada. This initiative is designed to increase knowledge, awareness and understanding of Indigenous laws and legal traditions and to encourage an enlightened dialogue about them within the justice system and legal practice. One of the goals of the one-year program is to increase access to legal education and professions for a greater number of Indigenous students, increasing access to justice for Indigenous peoples in the process.
It will offer Indigenous learners an introduction to the legal systems of different Indigenous peoples in Canada, and encourage a comparison with Quebec and Canadian state-derived systems in certain key areas of law. Those in the program will get to know the sources, foundations, principles and rules of Indigenous and state-derived law, including Quebec’s civil law regime.
In response to TRC Call to Action 50, Justice Canada is providing $596,565 over three years to the University of Ottawa for this initiative. (August 2022)