Indigenous Legal Studies Program

The University of British Columbia is consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. UBC is an inspiring place, leading change across Canada and around the world.

Founded in the aftermath of World War II, the Allard School of Law has emerged as one of Canada’s and the world’s best public law schools. Our innovative researchers, inspiring teachers, and dedicated students have helped build our national reputation and global reach. As a leading public law school, the Allard School of Law has a responsibility to offer extraordinary academic programs, to conduct groundbreaking and solution-oriented research, and to create a forum for public debate and discussion. Both public and private funds are necessary to build a vibrant centre focused on the future of the legal profession and the role of law in promoting a just, sustainable and prosperous society. The Faculty’s emergence as a leading law school has been fueled by the generous support of alumni, firms, corporations, foundations, and other friends who share our vision and commitment to the future.

The Allard School of Law is a leader in Indigenous legal education in North America.

In 2010 the law school celebrated 30 years since the Indigenous Legal Studies Program was launched as the first program of its kind in Canada. The Faculty is proud to have one of the highest enrollment numbers of Indigenous law students in Canada. Since 1975, hundreds of Indigenous students have graduated from the Faculty. Many of these graduates are now leaders who have helped to redefine Indigenous legal issues in Canada. Our alumni include the late Judge Alfred Scow, the first Aboriginal lawyer and judge in British Columbia; His Honour Steven Point, former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia; Grand Chief Ed John of the First Nations Summit; and politician Jody Wilson-Raybould, Regional Chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations. Many more Indigenous Legal Studies Program alumni are lawyers, judges, politicians, negotiators, advocates, educators and community leaders in British Columbia and across the country.

The Indigenous Legal Studies Program enhances Indigenous involvement in the legal profession while ensuring that all law students have access to courses focused on Indigenous legal issues.

Lawyers, judges and the broader community commit the Allard School of Law and its Indigenous Legal Studies Program to promoting education and research about Indigenous legal issues for use.

With strong support from the faculty, staff and students associated with the Indigenous Legal Studies Program, the Faculty recruits and supports Indigenous law students, offers courses in Aboriginal and Indigenous law, conducts research, often in partnership with Indigenous peoples and nations, provides legal assistance to Indigenous peoples through its clinic in the Downtown Eastside, and generally fosters greater understanding of the place of Indigenous peoples in Canadian society and abroad.

The Indigenous Legal Studies Program is a support program designed for the Allard Law students (JD or graduate students) automatically part of the program through the Indigenous application stream. Indigenous students are defined as those Canadians of First Nations, Inuit or Métis ancestry. All Indigenous students are automatically a part of the ILSP, and receive extra support and opportunities. They complete the regular JD program, and in their upper years can select their own classes based on graduation requirements and interest (all first year students take the same foundational courses).