Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Kay-Lynn Yacoboski
Sustainability Intern
Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Joint Degree Program in Canadian Common Law and indigenous Legal Orders (JD/JID)

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The University of Victoria joint degree program in Canadian Common Law (JD) and Indigenous Legal Orders (JID) is the first of its kind in the world, combining intensive study of Canadian Common Law with intensive engagement with Indigenous laws. The program welcomed its first cohort of students in September 2018, and will help students to develop the skills needed to practice within Canadian Common Law, with Indigenous legal orders, and at the interface between them.

The program was made possible by the relationships between the University of Victoria and the Songhees and Esquimalt peoples, on whose lands the University of Victoria is located, the W̱SÁNEĆ speaking peoples, who have longstanding connections to this land, and Indigenous peoples from coast-to-coast-to-coast and around the world. The program was conceived by two of Canada’s leading Indigenous scholars: John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, and Val Napoleon, Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance. Its development has benefited from strong support of faculty and staff throughout UVic Law and been greatly assisted by networks of Indigenous scholars in Canada and internationally.

The implementation of this JD/JID program at UVic directly responds to call #50 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, which reads as follows:

"In keeping with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, we call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, to fund the establishment of Indigenous law institutes for the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous law and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada."

The program also responds to the rapidly increasing need for legal professionals with Indigenous legal knowledge. Consultations with potential employers made clear that the graduates of this program will be in great demand in:
- Indigenous governance
- Non-Indigenous government agencies
- Law firms that work with Indigenous peoples and Indigenous lands, and
- Business enterprises

The implementation of this program reflects UVic’s longstanding commitment to an international reputation in Indigenous law and Indigenous legal education.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Curriculum
Diversity & Affordability

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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