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Larry Chartrand, academic director of the NLC, speaks at the naming ceremony

Native Law Centre honoured with Indigenous name

At a May 18 ceremony, the U of S Native Law Centre (NLC) added the Cree words “Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp” meaning “law lodge” to its current name.

The change is part of a broader revisioning process for the centre—now known as Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre—which has reimagined its vision, mission and goals in a new strategic plan. The renaming also sends a special message to Indigenous communities that the centre respects Indigenous laws as well as Canadian laws.

Larry Chartrand, academic director of the centre, led the revisioning committee and said that the centre’s new name reflects a commitment to the next level of engagement with the Indigenous law community.  

 “We felt it shows the NLC takes its mission of Indigenization seriously by engaging more fully and respectfully with the languages of the territory on which it is situated,” he said, adding that the addition of the Cree component to the original name honours the centre’s long history and global reputation as a leader in its field.

“The name of the Native Law Centre is significant, it represents the vision of (founder and former College of Law dean) Roger Carter and his belief in the intellectual capabilities and resiliency of Aboriginal students to succeed in law school,” said Sákéj Henderson, research fellow at the College of Law. “The centre has been gifted many honours by the Aboriginal elders, knowledge keepers and community, but none was more important than earning an Indigenous name.”

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