Jordan Calladine has been active in student governance at the College of Law, serving as the inaugural vice-president social for the college’s Indigenous Law Students’ Association. (Photo: submitted)
Jordan Calladine has been active in student governance at the College of Law, serving as the inaugural vice-president social for the college’s Indigenous Law Students’ Association. (Photo: submitted)

‘Take pride in your journey and the strides you’ve made,’ says USask law graduate

Jordan Calladine, an award-winning student who is currently clerking for a Federal Court judge, will receive her Juris Doctor degree during Spring Convocation in June


Jordan Calladine, who grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta, came to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) to study in the College of Law. Prior to enrolling at USask, she studied business at the University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business, majoring in marketing with a concentration in marketing communications, and played on the Pronghorns varsity women’s rugby team.

A member of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Calladine has been active in student governance at the College of Law, serving as the inaugural vice-president social for the college’s Indigenous Law Students’ Association. Calladine has also served as a research assistant for the Rebuilding First Nations Governance (RFNG) Project – Prairie Treaties Cluster and as a judicial intern for the Supreme Court of Belize. She is currently clerking for The Honourable Julie L. Blackhawk, a judge of the Federal Court and a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Nation.

Calladine will receive her Juris Doctor degree during USask’s Spring Convocation, which will take place from June 3 – 7, 2024. In advance of Convocation, the Green&White asked Calladine about her time as a student in the College of Law and about her advice for new students who are beginning their studies at USask.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Saskatchewan?

Returning home to Saskatchewan was a deeply personal decision for me. Although my parents provided my younger sister and me with a wonderful upbringing in Lethbridge, Alta., I couldn’t shake the envy I felt towards friends who had the luxury of regular visits with their extended family members—cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. With both sides of my family hailing from Saskatchewan, the province always held a special place in my heart. Saskatoon, centrally located between my relatives, offered the perfect balance, allowing me to easily journey north or south for weekend reunions.

After retiring from university rugby, I found myself craving change. It was the first time in my life I wasn't tethered to Lethbridge due to sports commitments. While nearing the end of my undergraduate studies, I began considering law as a potential path forward. Around the same time, an enticing internship opportunity emerged in Saskatoon, capturing my interest. With the shift to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, relocating to Saskatchewan seemed like a logical step forward. I applied to the University of Saskatchewan, never expecting to be accepted, let alone on the cusp of graduating with my Juris Doctor degree.

What was the best part of studying in the College of Law?

I am lucky to have met some of my closest friends and mentors from my time at the College of Law. Law school is tough, and I would not have made it through without my friends in the trenches with me or my mentors supporting me along the way.

Were you involved in any extracurricular activities during your time at USask?

I had the privilege of holding the position of vice-president social of the Indigenous Law Students’ Association for two years. During my third year, I was fortunate to undertake two significant clinical/practicum placements: one as a law student advocate at Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc. (CLASSIC), and the other as a legal intern with the Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize. Additionally, I was given the opportunity to assume diverse leadership roles within the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, including serving as a director for Saskatoon Métis Local 126 and as a regional youth representative for Western Region IIA.

Were you the recipient of any scholarships, awards, bursaries, or other honours?

I am grateful to have received recognition for my academic accomplishments and dedication to the College of Law community through several scholarships, awards, and bursaries. Among these honours are the Indigenous Student Achievement Award in Leadership, NIB Trust Fund Scholarship, CN Indigenous Student Bursary, Helen Bassett Commemorative Student Award - Western Region 2023, Kyle Block Scholarship, CIBC Achiever Awards, and the Amiskusees: Semaganis Worme Family Foundation Bursary. I was also the 2023 recipient of the annual Canadian Bar Association Saskatchewan Law Student Essay Contest for my piece “Saskatchewan must implement its own UNDRIP legislation if it is serious about reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.”

What is your favourite memory from your time as a USask student?

I made a lot of great memories as a USask student. The two main events that immediately came to mind would be the annual inter-year Challenge Cup Hockey Tournament and the Legal Follies Variety Show. My camera roll is filled with hilarious memories from those events the past few years and they always make me laugh.

What advice do you have for new students who are just beginning their studies at USask?

I have spent many hours in airplanes these last few months and was often finding myself lost in reflective thoughts. The following three pieces are the main ones I routinely find myself falling back on, each with a different focus: career, relationships, and self.

Career: Embrace the opportunity to explore new possibilities. Whether it’s applying for scholarships, pursuing internships, or engaging in extracurricular activities, embrace each experience wholeheartedly. Trust in life’s serendipitous nature, knowing that it guides you along the path meant for you.

Relationships: Stay tethered to your roots and your community. University life presents multifaceted challenges beyond academics alone. Amidst the whirlwind of studies, networking, and social obligations, make a concerted effort to support and uplift those around you.

Self: Be kind to yourself and prioritize your mental wellbeing. Recognize that life continues to unfold amidst the rigours of university. Listen to your body’s cues and grant yourself the rest and rejuvenation you require. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family who cherish you, even on your most challenging days. Acknowledge and celebrate both your personal achievements and those of your inner circle. Above all, take pride in your journey and the strides you’ve made.

What are your plans now that you have completed your degree?

I currently have the privilege of clerking for the Honourable Madam Justice Julie Blackhawk, a trailblazer as the first female Indigenous justice appointed to the Federal Court of Canada. This experience has afforded me invaluable insights into the judiciary, enriching my comprehension across various legal domains. Upon completing my clerkship, my intention is to return to Saskatchewan and specialize in Aboriginal and Indigenous law, striving to effect positive transformations within my community and beyond. My journey has been defined by unforeseen twists, and I aspire for it to culminate in meaningful contributions to the legal landscape and the wider society.

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