Nunavut Law Program students

U of S College of Law launches Nunavut Law Program with welcoming ceremony

SASKATOON - On Sept. 11, 2017, the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) was pleased to host a first-year welcoming ceremony at the Cadet Hall in Iqaluit, Nunavut, to officially welcome 25 students into the new Nunavut Law Program.

The ceremony opened with a traditional blessing and a Quidlik lighting ceremony.

Dignified guests brought greetings as follows:

The Honourable Paul Arulaaq Quassa, minister of education, Nunavut Department of Education;
The Honourable Justice Suzanne Côté, puisne justice of the Supreme Court of Canada;
The Honourable Justice Neil Sharkey, senior judge, Nunavut Court of Justice;
Martin Phillipson, dean, University of Saskatchewan College of Law;
Tom Molloy OC, QC, chancellor emeritus, University of Saskatchewan.

Students were presented with an academic gown and invited to recite the College of Law’s student commitment to symbolize the beginning of their journey into legal studies. The ceremony was conducted in Inuktitut and English.

Delivered in partnership between the College of Law, Nunavut Arctic College (NAC) and the Government of Nunavut, the Nunavut Law Program will bring a program of legal studies to the territory for the first time in over a decade.

The program aims to increase the number of practicing lawyers in Nunavut, produce graduates that can practice in various fields of law, and improve access to justice for Nunavummiut. It will also deliver relevant educational programming to the territory in line with the Government of Nunavut’s Sivumut Abluqta mandate.

The opportunity to offer this program is a natural extension of the university’s commitment to Indigenous initiatives. The College of Law has a long history of providing legal education to Indigenous peoples through its Native Law Centre’s Program of Legal Studies for Native People, which since 1973 has played a significant role in preparing thousands of Indigenous law students across Canada.

Students will be registered with the College of Law, and study at NAC in Iqaluit. Taught over four years, the program will prepare students for legal studies during the first year, and offer the same rigorous program as the College of Law in the remaining three. Students who successfully complete the program in 2021 will receive a U of S Juris Doctor (JD) degree, and join a community of distinguished alumni that is over a century old, including a former prime minister, provincial premiers, governors general and many Supreme Court judges and talented lawyers.

“The Nunavut Law Program is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a dedicated team at the U of S and our partners in Nunavut,” said College of Law Dean Martin Phillipson. “I am delighted to see the program come to fruition, and take part in the welcoming ceremony to wish the students the best as they begin their studies.

“Building educational partnerships such as this serves to renew both the college and university’s commitment to Indigenous and northern education, and to provide opportunities that will benefit the entire territory of Nunavut in the future.”

Stephen Mansell, director of the Nunavut Law Program, said “I am very excited to be working with 25 amazing Nunavut students over the next four years as they progress through their legal studies. The potential for these students, and this program, to shape the future of the legal profession and access to justice in our territory is immeasurable.”

Phillipson and Mansell will be available for interviews starting September 12.





For more information, contact:

Cat Bonner
Communications Officer
College of Law
University of Saskatchewan

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