Call to Action # 50

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 laws and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Why “In Progress?”

May 17, 2021: Department of Justice announced the Government of Canada’s support for 21 projects that respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Call to Action 50. The Department is providing funding for a total of $9.5 million for 21 projects through its Justice Partnership and Innovation Program. This funding will help First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to respond effectively to the changing conditions affecting Canadian justice policy by supporting the revitalization of Indigenous law in all regions of Canada. (See below for project details)

Sept. 3, 2020: A $13-million investment by the Province will enable the University of Victoria (UVic) to build its much-anticipated National Centre for Indigenous Laws. The federal government announced in Budget 2019 (March 20, 2019), $9.1 million over 3 years for a national centre of excellence for the study and understanding of Indigenous laws that will house the world’s first joint degree in Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law JD/JID). Starting in 2019/20, the funds will support the construction of “an Indigenous Legal Lodge at the University of Victoria. 

Two other Indigenous Law programs have also started: 

  • The Schulich School of Law introduced the JD Certificate in Aboriginal and Indigenous Law in the fall of 2020 and 
  • Lakehead University is establishing a new Indigenous law and justice institute, the Maamawi Bimosewag – They Walk Together Institute. 

Sept. 5, 2019 – Budget 2019 also invests $10M over 5 years for Indigenous law initiatives through The Justice Partnership and Innovation Program to improve equality for Indigenous peoples in Canada’s legal system

Current Status

April 4, 2022

In Progress

Previous Status

February 14, 2022

In Progress

Latest Updates


Actions and Commitments


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Revitalizing Indigenous Laws

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University of Ottawa

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University of Victoria: Indig. Law Research Unit

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Lakehead University

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Schulich School of Law

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Background Content


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Cdn. Bar Assoc. Response to TRC

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Revitalizing Indigenous Laws

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Current Indigenous Legal Frameworks

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