718 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
of information as well as past issues of Obiter, the biweekly newsletter run
by students during the fall and winter semesters.
This effort of welcoming continues through organizing social gettogethers
over the summer for incoming students to meet current students
and alumni. This initiative has expanded from the annual social originally
held only in Vancouver and Calgary to include Toronto, Edmonton, Victoria,
Kelowna and Kamloops. I am delighted each September to see 1Ls
embracing each other as well as upper-year students whom they have never
met in person, or only once at the summer social, though having been Facebook
friends for months. By the end of the first week I will have new students
tell me how they already have more friends at TRU Law than they had
after four years of undergrad. The incredibly friendly and supportive environment
created by the class of 2014, and carried on ever since, is something
that I have yet to encounter at any other law school in the world.
Those brave students who took the risk and seized the chance to build a
new law school have created a sense of being part of a family in which each
member cares deeply about the well-being and success of all the others,
even if there may occasionally be a bit of friction between a few of them.
This year will be the first in which all first-, second- and third-year students
will spend days off campus learning about the continued existence of
Indigenous laws, cultures, values and economies, and about how Canadian
law and governmental actions have suppressed and sought to eliminate
Indigenous governance. During two prior years we have had students experience
Pipsell (Jacko) Lake and discover the cultural significance of that
lake to the Secwepemc people and the controversy related to a proposed
copper and gold mine.
Our first-year students ’
will once again return to the former Indian residential
school (“IRS”) at Tk’emlups First Nation during the winter, as has
occurred since the law school opened in 2011. They will learn about the history
and continuing legacy directly from IRS survivors and those who were
caught up in the ’60s child welfare scoop. Although the schools have been
closed for several decades, more Indigenous children are removed from
their birth parents now than were ever students in residential schools. That
daylong visit is preceded by a special class led by leaders from the
Secwepemc Nation and followed by another class that gives students an
opportunity to learn more and to share their feelings from their visit.
2Ls and 3Ls will be able to experience the peak of the four-year cycle
of the Fraser River sockeye salmon returning to spawn at the Adams River,