NDP MLA Melanie Mark arrives to the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. The University of Victoria is expanding its law school building to house the new National Centre for Indigenous Laws. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

NDP MLA Melanie Mark arrives to the start of the debate at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. The University of Victoria is expanding its law school building to house the new National Centre for Indigenous Laws. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Law centre at UVic to train generation of Indigenous legal scholars

B.C. is contributing $13 million to the law school expansion

The University of Victoria is expanding its law school building to house the new National Centre for Indigenous Laws.

The federal and B.C. governments and the Law Foundation of B.C. are contributing $27.1 million to fund the expansion that will become home to the world’s first joint degree in Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law.

Melanie Mark, B.C.’s minister of advanced education, says the school will train a generation of Indigenous legal scholars.

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B.C. is contributing $13 million to the law school expansion, while the federal government will provide $9.1 million and the Law Foundation of B.C. will spend $5 million.

The 2,440-square-metre addition to the Anne and Murray Fraser Building at the university will use Coast Salish designs, signage and public art, and reflect the law school’s long-standing relations with the Songhees and Esquimalt peoples in the Victoria area.

Prof. Val Napoleon says the school’s expansion represents a justice sanctuary for Indigenous people.

University president Jamie Cassels says the Indigenous law school will play a vital role in reworking the legal fabric of Canada.

The Canadian Press

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