90 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 1 JANUARY 2018
What is abundantly clear, however, is that diversity without inclusion is
not enough. And inclusion cannot happen without a concomitant and systemic
shift in culture. In order to ensure the success of students whose
diversities are so intimately tied to access to justice in a changing profession,
more needs to be done within law schools to address the very issues
that ultimately pushed Ms. Roderique from law.
The University of Victoria Faculty of Law is situated on the traditional
territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, and the faculty has a deep
respect for the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSANEC nations, whose historical
relationships with the land informs all aspects of our work. And with these
connections in mind, we have made central to the mandate of our law
school deep commitments to the teaching, learning and research of Indigenous
legal orders. Doing this and ensuring an inclusive environment for
Indigenous students have been pressing and specific concerns.
We recognized that in order to attract excellent Indigenous students to
UVic Law we needed to be able to offer a welcoming, supportive and critical
environment. And so, in 1992, the law school hired Heather Raven (now
Q.C.) to serve as the law school’s first Indigenous support liaison. And
although the position has shifted as demands have grown, it is a position
that has been at the heart of UVic Law supports ever since. The position has
been continually staffed by Indigenous lawyers: Maxine Matilpi, Michael
Jakeman, Karla Point and, currently, Darcy Lindberg.
But alongside the recognition that diversifying who is admitted to law
school is not enough, it has become clear that student support needs to be
delivered in a manner that respects and reflects the growing needs of accessibility
In 2013 UVic Law took steps to create what has become our “Amicus Program”.
3 Currently led by a four-member team, the program has the objective
of addressing the needs of a shifting profession by putting student wellness
and resilience at the centre of their law school journey.
The first dimension remains cultural support, currently delivered
through our half-time cultural support liaison, Darcy Lindberg. While primarily
attentive to the particular needs of our Indigenous students, cultural
support is defined inclusively. With a blend of programming, office hours
and classroom engagement, cultural support has given students the opportunity
to bridge their UVic lives with their community lives outside the law
The second element is personal support, delivered through half-time
embedded counselling. At present, Christina Friesen, a UVic counsellor,
meets students for appointments at the law school and works to integrate