Martin Phillipson, dean of law, and Nunavut Law Program students in April 2019.

USask Law’s Nunavut Program wins Arctic Inspiration Prize

A $140,000 prize will allow students in the College of Law’s Nunavut Law Program to participate in an array of professional learning opportunities, including a circumpolar exchange program. 

By USask Law Communications

The University of Saskatchewan (USask) program was one of five finalists in the AIP category of the 2020 Arctic Inspiration Prize. Winners were announced at a Feb. 5 ceremony held as part of the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase in Ottawa.

Martin Phillipson, dean of law, was on hand to accept the award along with Stephen Mansell, director of the Nunavut Law Program, and two current law students, Jessica Shabtai and Nuka Olsen-Hakongak.

“We are enormously privileged to be named a recipient. This award will significantly enrich our students’ educational experience and we are grateful to the organizers and funders of the Arctic Inspiration Prize,” said Phillipson.

“Our success in receiving this award is a testament to the students’ hard work and dedication to their communities and their studies,” he added. 

The college plans to use the prize to provide the Nunavut Law Program students based in Iqaluit with experiential learning opportunities, academic support, cultural activities and financial assistance. A proposed exchange program with the University of Lapland in Finland will help students learn about other Indigenous legal traditions and to share knowledge and legal insight with other Arctic law students.

"These opportunities will help to further the College of Law’s goal of graduating highly knowledgeable and engaged legal professionals who will serve their communities, incorporate Inuit Traditional Knowledge into their practice, and be strong advocates for access to justice in Nunavut and across the Arctic," said Phillipson.

About the Arctic Inspiration Prize:

The Arctic Inspiration Prize recognizes and promotes the extraordinary contribution made by teams in the gathering of Arctic knowledge and their plans to implement this knowledge in real world applications for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic, Arctic Peoples and therefore Canada as a whole. For more information:

About the Nunavut Law Program:

The Nunavut Law Program—launched in September 2017—provides a Nunavut-based legal education to Nunavummiut. A partnership between the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Arctic College, and the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan, the program will generate resident and Inuit graduates with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree in 2021.