uOttawa Faculty of Law receives $1 Million to support Indigenous Learners

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2019

Natane Allison, 3L law learner and Danielle Lussier, Indigenous Learner Advocate at the uOttawa Faculty of Law (Common Law section)

Natane Allison, 3L law learner and Danielle Lussier, Indigenous Learner Advocate at the uOttawa Faculty of Law (Common Law section)


Indigenous learners in the Faculty of Law (Common Law Section) will have access to $1 M in scholarships, bursaries and emergency funding thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor.

The gift will be used to support Indigenous learners in various ways: Most of the funding will be devoted towards three-year entrance scholarships, and some of the funding will be made available as bursaries for upper-year Indigenous learners.

“This inspiring gift will enable our Faculty to provide much needed financial support to our Indigenous learners,” said Adam Dodek, Dean of the Faculty of Law. “It will also complement other programs that we have put in place for this community.”

One of the programs that the Faculty of Law created is called All My Relations Emergency Fund, which takes its name from a common expression in many Indigenous communities. It represents a critical aspect of Indigenous worldview: that we are all interconnected and that we exist in relation to one another.  The All My Relations Emergency Fund will provide emergency access to financial support for Indigenous learners in crisis.

“It pleases my heart to hear of this kindness bestowed upon the Faculty of Law for Indigenous students,” added Claudette Commanda, the Law School’s Elder in Residence. “It is very encouraging in the sense that when potential new students will be made aware of this support it will encourage First Nations people to apply to the Law School. It is my vision to see more First Nations people coming to the University of Ottawa.”

The Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa is deeply committed to implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a donation such as this one will greatly help the Faculty to achieve its goals.

“The impact this will have on the Indigenous community of Fauteux Hall, on the whole, cannot be overstated”, explained Danielle Lussier, Indigenous Learner Advocate, Citizen of the Métis Nation of Manitoba. “Indigenous Peoples face innumerable barriers to education at all levels, and the ability to offer entrance scholarships and sustained funding for upper year J.D. candidates will afford individual learners the opportunity to access legal education that would not otherwise be possible.”

She added that the law school feels a tremendous gratitude to the anonymous donor who is investing in the future of their communities.

“This donation will change the face of this law school,” added Natane Allison, 3L law learner, Member of the Bkejwanong (Walpole Island) First Nation, and President of the Indigenous Law Students Association.


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