886 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2020
and sharing of histories and knowledge. Dr. Val Napoleon, Director of the
Indigenous law program and the Indigenous Law Research Unit and the
Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance, describes
this physical structure as representing “a sanctuary where our laws, which
enable us to be peoples, will be safe, and where both Indigenous and non-
Indigenous students will learn about those laws, creating the foundation to
a multijuridical Canada”.
As the Indigenous law degree program (J.D./J.I.D.) enters its third year,
the growth in numbers of students and faculty (six of whom are Indigenous
and teach primarily in the J.D./J.I.D. program) speaks to both the success
of the program and the need for more space. At full capacity, the four-year,
dual-degree program will house an additional 100 students, who join
approximately 400 students in the J.D. and graduate programs.
Laura Hoversland is a second-year J.D./J.I.D. student and a member of
the Teslin Tlingit Council (Yukon). She says:
I always wanted to be a lawyer, but I never imagined, because of the
impact of systemic trauma, that I could ever do that. My dad is Norwegian,
and my mom is Tlingit. When I was younger, I thought graduating
high school was good enough, but my dad encouraged me to keep going.
It’s been a long journey from legal assistant to Aboriginal court worker to
a senior justice analyst for an Indigenous non-profit (Council of Yukon
First Nations) in Whitehorse, Yukon. Being in the Indigenous law program
at the University of Victoria has not only changed my life but will
change the life of my seven-year-old daughter. I’m excited to see where it
The realization of both the Indigenous law degree and the new building
is due to years of dedication and hard work and an enormous amount of
support. Dr. Susan Breau, Dean of Law at the University of Victoria, states:
The contributions we are to receive from the provincial government, the
federal government and the Law Foundation of British Columbia towards
the expansion of the Fraser Building will provide us with a home for our
Indigenous law program and the National Centre for Indigenous Laws. It
is truly a historic moment, and as the dean of the faculty, I wish to convey
our profound gratitude to all of these funders who will make the realization
of our vision possible.
The Law Foundation of British Columbia has been an unwavering supporter
of the Faculty of Law’s clinical programs for many years. This gift of
$5 million is the biggest private donation ever made to the Faculty of Law.
The Law Foundation’s executive director, Josh Paterson, says that the Law
Foundation “is proud to support the vital work at UVic Law to promote the
recovery and resurgence of Indigenous legal orders across the continent.
This new centre will cement the role of UVic scholars as global leaders part-