In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report with 94 “calls to action” – recommendations designed to facilitate reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples. One of these, Call to Action 28, aims to make law students – the next generation of legal professionals – aware of the damage done by the Canadian legal system, and to get them involved in reconciliation efforts. Professors Aimée Craft, Signa Daum Shanks, Angela Cameron and Anne Levesque explain how the Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law has chosen to respond to this call to action.
Early in 2023, students and passersby at Fauteux Hall, home of the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, were witness to the creation of a new piece of Indigenous art in the form of a large, almost floor-to-ceiling mural depicting two spirited beings under water. Created by Indigenous artists Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch from the Onaman Collective, and prominently displayed in the busiest section of Fauteux Hall’s third floor, the mural represents Anishinaabe teachings and legal principles relating to nibi (water), while also serving as a reminder to all visitors to Fauteux Hall of the importance of Indigenous laws and legal traditions.
The Indigenous Law Certificate Program at the University of Ottawa’s Civil Law Section offers a unique opportunity for Indigenous students to make a difference in their communities. Designed to meet the unique educational needs of Indigeneous people, this innovative program enables students to develop a thorough understanding of Indigenous legal systems and their interaction with state laws.
In an effort to contribute to the revitalization of Indigenous legal orders and provide a more respectful welcome to Indigenous learners on an academic path in law, the University of Ottawa’s Civil Law Section has launched a new Certificate in Indigenous Law.