426 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 3 MAY 2018
a resolution calling for UVic’s program to be funded, and this support has
been echoed by a wide array of Indigenous organizations and First Nations,
including the BC Aboriginal Justice Council, the BC AFN, the Union of BC
Indian Chiefs and the First Nations Summit.
Interest in the program also extends to parties who have significant interaction
with Indigenous peoples. Early in the J.D./J.I.D. campaign, the Business
Council of British Columbia drew us into a series of discussions, which
have since extended to include consultations with several actors throughout
the economy. Those actors understand the value of interacting with institutions
that can speak effectively and durably for their communities. Professional
associations recognize that a knowledge of Indigenous law is
important to the discharge of their obligations under the TRC calls to action.
The provincial and federal governments know that the recognition of
Indigenous law brings strength and stability to the exercise of Indigenous
governance. The Indigenous Relations Committee of the Union of BC
Municipalities also passed a resolution in support of our program.
Indeed, the desire of many sectors of Canadian society to understand
more about Indigenous law and to explore how they might engage productively
with it, has led us to develop the concept of an Indigenous Legal
Lodge—a gathering place for research, deliberation and wide public engagement
on the nature and implications of Indigenous law, which will also
serve as the home for the J.D./J.I.D. program.
STRUCTURE OF THE J.D./J.I.D. PROGRAM
What will students do in the program?
The J.D./J.I.D. is built around the intensive comparison of Canadian law
(in the common law tradition) with Indigenous legal traditions. We cannot
possibly deal with all Indigenous legal traditions or even with any one legal
tradition comprehensively, so our focus will be on introducing students to
four or five traditions with sufficient depth that they understand the distinctive
institutional mechanisms of that tradition, its legal resources and
modes of reasoning and expression, its foundational concepts in a specific
area of law and the ways in which those concepts are deployed historically
and today. The sample of traditions will be chosen so that they introduce
students to a range of Indigenous peoples’ principles and approaches.
That process will start in students’ first year. The basic first-year courses
will be taught “transsystemically” (the term is McGill’s), in which students
will systematically explore how both Canadian law and a particular Indigenous
tradition deal with an area of human activity. Thus, in September, constitutional
law will be taught by John Borrows, comparing the institutions