The Faculty of Law has long been dedicated to enhancing Indigenous voices in our community and within the legal profession. Through the Indigenous Initiatives Office (IIO), the Faculty offers innovative academic and experiential initiatives to all law students. The IIO promotes cultural initiatives at the law school and is devoted to recruiting Indigenous students. The Faculty has one of the highest graduation rates for students of Indigenous heritage in the country. 

The IIO provides innovative academic and experiential opportunities and mentorship for students through the following programs and initiatives:

What's Your #ReconciliationResolution?

In January 2017 the Indigenous Initiatives Office challenged every student, faculty and staff member in the Faculty of Law to make and keep a reconciliation resolution. How do you do that? For each person it will look different but we suggest you commit to doing at least three things that you think will help our country move towards a better relationship with Indigenous people.

We are encouraging everyone in the Faculty of Law to participate in the blanket exercise but beyond that, each person should pick what is right for them. Here are a few of our ideas:

  • Attend an Indigenous Initiatives Office event (dates for upcoming events below)
  • Read the executive summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Attend an Indigenous Law Students’ Association or Aboriginal Law Club event
  • Earn your Certificate in Aboriginal Legal Studies
  • Apply for the Tuohy Fellowship or the Debwewin Summer Program (both are open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students)
  • Read a book from the Bora Laskin Law Library’s Indigenous Perspectives Collection
  • Attend an event at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, at First Nations House or anywhere else Indigenous people and their allies gather
  • Check out artist Kent Monkman's new project Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience at the University of Toronto Art Centre
  • Use your social media platforms to tell others that you’re making a #ReconciliationResolution

For more information or to share your ideas, email amanda.carling@utoronto.ca

Indigenous Initiatives Office Speaker Series

You can work towards your reconciliation resolution by attending any of the following events. All events are open to the public, but guests should RSVP to: amanda.carling@utoronto.ca

  • Debwewin Summer Law Internship Summer Program Info Session: On Wednesday, January 4, from 12:30-2 p.m. members of the Indigenous Justice Division at the Ministry of the Attorney General will speak about the Debwewin Summer Law Program and the work of that division. Lunch will be provided, more info here. (Jackman Law Building Classroom J225)
  • Indigenous Law Lecture: On Thursday, January 5, from 4-6 p.m. Professor Sákéj Henderson will deliver a guest lecture in Kerry Wilkins’ class Aboriginal People and the Canadian Law. (Jackman Law Building Classroom P120) Archived Video Coming Soon
  • Introduction to First Nations Governments in Canada: On Tuesday, January 10, 12:30-2 p.m. – Maggie Wente will provide an overview of First Nations Governments in Canada. Lunch will be provided, more info here. (Jackman Law Building Classroom J230) Archived Video Coming Soon
  • History and Legacy of Residential Schools: NEW DATE: Tuesday, February 7, 12:30-2 pm  Phil Fontaine, former Nation Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, will talk about the history and legacy of residential schools. Lunch will be provided, more info coming soon. (Solarium, Falconer Hall)
  • Métis: Past, Present and Future: On Tuesday, January 31, 12:30-2 p.m. Métis Nation of Ontario President Margaret Froh will discuss recent cases and policy developments concerning the Métis in Ontario and across the country. Lunch will be provided, more info here. (Jackman Law Building Classroom J130)
  • Children’s Lawyer for Ontario: On Thursday, February 16, from 12:30 – 2 p.m. Marian Jacko, recently appointed the new Children’s Lawyer for Ontario, will discuss the work of her office and specifically what she is doing to ameliorate conditions for Indigenous children and youth across the province. Lunch will be provided, more info coming soon. (Jackman Law Building Classroom J230)

Manager, Indigenous Initiatives and Faculty Advisor 

Amanda Carling is a Métis lawyer and is the Manager, Indigenous Initiatives at the Faculty of Law. Associate Professor Douglas Sanderson is the Faculty Advisor and a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. Amanda and Professor Sanderson provide support for all Indigenous law students on academic, personal and professional matters.  

Amanda graduated from the Faculty of Law in 2012 and was called to the Ontario bar in 2013. Amanda articled with Innocence Canada (formerly the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted or AIDWYC) and worked as Legal Education Counsel from 2013-2016. Amanda is the President of the Board at Aboriginal Legal Services in Toronto and was a member of the Debwewin Jury Implementation Committee.

Professor Sanderson graduated from the Faculty of Law in 2003 and teaches First Year Property Law, coaches the Kawaskimhon Competitive Moot and is the Faculty Advisor to the Indigenous Law Journal. Click here to learn more. 

The Faculty of Law is grateful for the generous support from the Law Foundation of Ontario for the Indigenous Initiatives Office.