Indigenous Curriculum

Indigenous Legal Studies Program Courses

The heart of the Indigenous Legal Studies Program is the broad range of courses covering Indigenous legal issues, taught by professors who produce leading research in Aboriginal law. Topic areas  include Canadian Aboriginal law, First Nations and the Administration of Justice, and Indigenous legal issues, to name a few. The heart of the Indigenous Legal Studies Program is the broad range of courses covering Aboriginal legal issues, taught by professors who produce leading research in Aboriginal law. Topic areas include Canadian Aboriginal law, Aboriginal and treaty rights, First Nations and the administration of justice, and Indigenous legal traditions, and Indigenous legal issues. In 2012 for the first time, all Allard School of Law students took the Aboriginal Rights and Treaties in Canada as a first year course. Most of the Supreme Court of Canada decisions involving Aboriginal land claims and treaties originated in British Columbia. There are more than 200 First Nations communities in B.C., with only a few having signed treaties with the Crown, leaving a significant number of outstanding claims to Aboriginal title and rights. New accreditation rules require graduates to demonstrate competency in the rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Law schools can meet this requirement in different ways and the Faculty chose to create a separate mandatory course dedicated to Aboriginal law. Although the substance of what is taught may be similar from school to school, this symbolic change allows the Faculty to highlight the leadership role that B.C. has had in the development of Aboriginal rights in Canada.

 

Indigenous Community Legal Clinic

One particularly innovative course offered by the Indigenous Legal Studies Program is the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic. The Clinic provides students with practical experience delivering legal services to underserved members of the Indigenous community by dedicating a full term to the ICLC; 3 days of which are working at the ICLC and one morning completing the academic component at the Vancouver campus. The Clinic is located on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Upper year students who have completed Law 476: Evidence can apply here. Deadline to apply for Fall and Spring sessions is March 1, deadline to apply for Summer session is Feb 1.

 

Kawaskimhon [Aboriginal Rights] Moot

The First Nations Legal Studies Program also participates in the Kawaskimhon (speaking with knowledge) Aboriginal Rights Moot each year. This moot is a culturally sensitive national forum where issues regarding Aboriginal rights are debated by law students from across Canada. For more details and the application form click here. Please submit the application form by March 1.

 

Specialization in Aboriginal Law

The Allard School of Law offers a Specialization in Aboriginal Law open to all J.D. students. The Specialization is the natural evolution of the broad range of courses covering Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal issues. Any student in the J.D. program may earn a Specialization in Aboriginal Law by undertaking a course of study that thoroughly prepares them for a demanding practice in Aboriginal law. Additionally, the education that students receive will stand them in good stead as they embark on their legal careers in a variety of fields. In British Columbia, in part because so many land claims are unsettled, Indigenous legal issues affect the practice of law in many areas. The Specialization recognizes student competency in relation to key elements in Aboriginal law including, but not limited to, the core concepts surrounding Section 35 jurisprudence, modern treaties, business development on reserves and experiential learning opportunities with the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic.